Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about time left and time spent.
A few weeks ago I read Pat Conroy’s My Losing Season and in it there was a paragraph that I had to read several times before I could digest it. I copied it and will share it with you now.
In my own lifetime, nothing has been clearer or more, unremitting than the inflexible and man-eating current of time. My life is chock-full of madeleines that send me reeling back on tides of pure consciousness to moments in my life lit up with consequence. But no matter how mystical my encounters with my past, I remain fully cognizant that my body is a timepiece that can kill me tomorrow or let me live a hundred years. It is this hard, inexorable passage of time that, I believe, is the one great surprise in every human life.
I’m still not sure where madeleines fit in.
Pat is a bit too profound for me in that paragraph so I’ll stick with Ferris Bueller Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.
My Losing Season is his memoir about family, love, loss, basketball and life itself. Thinking about that book brought me back to my playing days as co-captain of my high school team. I remember a mistake I made, and there were many, by calling for a time out and the referee said to me “number 34…there are no time outs left”.
I am never late for anything, unless I am with my wife or daughter. They run on Irish time…never late for work but for everything else they are more than fashionably late.
I used to wear a watch and no longer do so after asking my new best friend Rudy, the groundskeeper for a cluster of beach houses on Grand Cayman, what time was it and he said “man..why you need to know…you goin someplace?”
I was not going someplace and I’m not too sure about now…
Time spent seems to follow time left. You begin to think if your time was in fact well spent. Family, financial and work related accomplishments certainly come to mind…but somewhere in this mix must include mistakes and lots of fun and games.
Those that did or will not make mistakes in life and work have not or will not live a full life.
My biggest work related accomplishment was co-founding a cable television company. It started in my upstairs bedroom using an electric typewriter to write my first of many proposals for winning a cable franchise. That start up experience was my Harvard “B” school education and provided me a vehicle of joy, misery and the freedom to make more mistakes.
Ten years after the company was founded it was sold for 35 million dollars.
I am a dreamer that has had some success, a little fun and made mistakes to make it all interesting.
…but now I am concerned that referee’s call … “number 34…you have no time outs left”… is getting louder.