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Monday, July 12, 2010

Motivational Monday - "1000 Marbles"

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, what began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it. I turned the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning talk show. I heard an older sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself.

He was talking about "a thousand marbles" to someone named "Tom." I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say. "Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital."

He continued, "Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities."
And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years."

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part."

"It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail," he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy."

"So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles.
I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in my workshop next to the radio. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away." "I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones...
"It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show's moderator didn't have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."

"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special," I said. " It has just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."


A note from Sondra: Brady will be off to college and then a mission in approximately 104 Saturdays ... Time goes by very quickly. During the next 104 Saturdays left of this journey of being a full time mom, I'm going to use these to the best of my ability. It's also very sad to know that a bunch of them he will prefer to spend with friends, at school functions or on a date.

How many more Saturday's do you get to spend making memories with your children?

I only have 1248 more Saturdays left until I'm 72...

"We do not remember days, only remember Moments"

3 comments:

Garden of Egan said...

Wow. Very profound.
Makes me wish I hadn't wasted so many marbles.

Connie said...

Beautiful thoughts! I'll turn 57 in a few weeks. I have less marbles than I realize!
When my son was on his mission, I measured the time by how many Fast Sundays! Brady will be gone only 24 Fast Sundays!

Take care and have a wonderful day!

Small House said...

Wow...this has given me something to really think about. Darn....I've got to re-think my Saturdays.

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