This morning I watched this video. Oof.
I have been very aware, particularly since my last birthday, that time grows ever shorter, that there are now more jelly beans in the bottom of my hourglass than in the top. My brain knows this. My heart knows this. My body sometimes takes great glee in reminding me.
But seeing my time like this, whittled away by all of life’s necessities and responsibilities, and then the small pile that is left, or maybe half of that pile, or maybe half of that half a pile, wow. That was incredibly sobering. From that giant pile of jellybeans, what was left was so … small.
From an early age I think I was aware that time was finite, limited. Maybe I first realized it when my grandpa died shortly before my 5th birthday. I didn’t entirely understand what had happened to him other than he went to heaven, but I did understand that a man I loved and adored got sick, I saw him decline and it scared me and made me sad that I couldn’t sit on his lap or visit him anymore, and then he was suddenly gone.
The preciousness of time was most certainly driven home to me full force when my mom was gone overnight. That left me with a sense of urgency in some ways that will never leave me.
I know all these things, in my head and in my heart.
And yet that video hit me hard – because I know I have been squandering jelly beans. I have been acting like I have a huge supply; not necessarily intentionally, but just life and distractions and busyness. I have given hours and hours and hours of my time that added up to a substantial amount of jelly beans to friends who turned out not to appreciate the precious gift that was.
To see the very limited supply of jelly beans that we actually have, the very finite number of days we have to work on our dreams; to make a difference in the world; to spread kindness; to be with our children, our spouses, our family and friends; to laugh; to live; to love on people – whoa.
It was eye opening. Even though I have always been aware of it, this video sort of suddenly snapped it into focus. Seeing where our time goes – and what little is left – so simply depicted was a bit jarring.
My focus needs to narrow to the most important things. I need to guard my time much more closely and treat it as the precious and very limited commodity that it is. I need to not keep thinking of my dreams and things I’d like to do and accomplish as “some day” items, because those days are never guaranteed. I don’t want to use up all my jelly beans and find out I never truly lived.
Most importantly, I want to squeeze every drop of love and laughter out of my days and make sure my children have wonderful memories to draw from for support, humor, and love for the rough times in life when I’m no longer here to do it in person. I want them to have a deep rich well to draw from in those times.
Tonight I am seriously contemplating how many jelly beans I may have left and what I want to do with them – and how I will feel on the day when I am down to my last one, looking back on how I spent them.
What are you doing with your jelly beans?