© 2020 Patrick McAndrew

  • Pat McAndrew

Wasting Away Your Time


As we get older, we tend to notice how fast time goes.  Weeks and months fly by and we stand amazed when we look back and think, “Wow…that major life event was already a year ago?!”


This isn’t the case when we’re kids because our conception of time is much shorter.  It seems like a lifetime between 4th and 5th grade.  The difference between 12th grade, when we are roughly 17-18 years old, and 7th grade, when we are roughly 12-13 years old, are like two different worlds.  Though a lot can happen in 5 years, the time span seems much shorter when it’s from 25 to 30, or 40 to 45.


I feel like as I’ve been getting older (and I’m not really that old), that time is becoming more and more a precious asset that must be used effectively.  This isn’t to say that a lazy day here and there isn’t amazing and well-earned; it’s important to take those days of rest and do nothing.  But all the same, because time seems to go much faster the older we get, our time can easily go down the drain without us thinking about it.  And we can never get it back.


Perhaps this sounds a little ‘down-in-the-dumps,’ but it’s true, despite how terrifying it is!  This is why we hear stories of people who wake up when they’re 40 and wonder what the heck happened to their lives.  Someone once said that “Some people die at 25 but aren’t buried until 75.”  How true it is.


I know I quoted him in my last post, but I will quote him again.  If you haven’t, you should really check out some of Earl Nightingale’s work.  Anyway, he said, “Most people tiptoe their way through life, hoping they make it safely to death.”   We are so stuck on security that we forget to live.  So much of our time is spent engaged in useless and meaningless activity and work that we blink and suddenly we are 20 years in the future, not sure where all that time went.


It’s very easy to get lost in the technology of today.  So much of what is out there has been created to entertain us.  Some content is of value, but otherwise we are just entertaining ourselves with stupid videos, photos, and posts that add no real value in our lives.  I’m all for a good show, a funny movie, or a loving comment, but if these things are consuming all our waking hours, we won’t have much to show for our lives.


We must strive to accomplish something, not only for the betterment of ourselves, but for the betterment of others.  We don’t want to waste away to our grave having made no impression in someone’s life.  Even if it is just in our small community, if we contribute to something we will feel much happier.


We have a tendency to try and appease or impress others.  This explains the manic obsession with the online world.  We want to show where we’ve been, who we’re with, what we’ve eaten, that we’ve been to the gym and therefore put out a façade that we are healthy and interesting people.  Social media has some great uses, but it also has the capability to suck away our time before we even know it’s lost.  We aim for that like, that comment, or that interest in the work we are doing.  I’m as guilty as everyone else when it comes to this, but it’s important to have perspective.  Though we want to do well for others, it’s important to not attach our self-worth to their opinions.  So long as we believe in our work and the various activities that we put our time into, that’s all that is needed.


We mustn’t let the latest and greatest technologies eat up so much of our time.  Fifty years from now you won’t remember those hours scrolling through your newsfeed or binging through Netflix, but perhaps you will have a best-selling book that you worked on for several years, a couple minutes each day.  A little time may seem little, but it adds to a substantial amount of time; it adds up to the sum total of your life.