How Do You Spend Your Life?

Today I didn’t make my bed.  I didn’t do my laundry and I didn’t cook or do the dishes.  I didn’t grocery shop or vacuum.  And I’m not necessarily advocating that you “don’t” do these things either today but it got me thinking….

At the moment, I live and work on board a cruise ship and so have the privilege of having someone else do these things for me.  I have a cabin steward who cleans my room and vacuums and makes the bed and cleans the toilet.  The officer’s cook makes my meals (though I don’t have a say in what he makes) and the dishwasher cleans up.  The cook makes the menu, the controller orders the food and some guy in Rome or Nice or Barcelona delivers the ingredients.

I remember the first time I left ships after five years on board. When I went home I realized at the end of the first day that my bed was not made, the laundry was still there in a pile on the floor and no one had made dinner.. Huh?  Ah yes, I’m not in Kansas anymore Toto… I suddenly remembered that I left my cabin steward back on board and that if these things were going to get done, I had to do them.

It was then that I noticed just how much time “housekeeping” takes.  And that’s when I started wondering how much time other mundane things take up in my life.  When we ask ourselves….where did the years go?  Here’s something to chew on.

Sleeping. If a person lives to be 60 and sleeps 8 hours a day, they have spent 20 YEARS sleeping.  Now THAT to me is a monumental waste of time…..can’t you just get caught up on sleep when you’re dead?’
In the Loo. They say the average person spends a total of 2 weeks a year in the bathroom….necessary but another waste (pun intended!).
Illness.  On average a person spends a total of about 4 years of their life being sick.  Another good reason to take your vitamins!
Eating and drinking. 6 years.  Well, you can take that one as a good or bad use of time but it sure is a LONG time.  In 6 years, I can get a master’s degree in something!
Working. According to a NY Times article, the average person spends about 20 years working.
Waiting. 5 years.  Yep, just waiting….for a traffic light to turn or in line at the post office.

How much time do you spend "waiting" in your life?

Watching TV.  They say 9 years….HOLY CRAP!  Are you kidding????  What would you do if someone just gave you 9 years???

It’s worth taking stock.  Look at how you spend your time.  Would your life be happier, more fullfilling, more fun if you made some changes in how you spend your day?  What if you hired someone to clean your house for $50 but spent that time writing an article for a magazine that paid you $200?  Or what if you simply spent that time with your children or your spouse and called it an investment in your own happiness?

What if you turned off your TV?  What if you slept just one less hour a day?  What if you just didn’t make your bed?  What could you accomplish?  Who could you help?  How could you be happier?

And what if you went after your dream job?  What would it look like to have those 20 years living in your passion?

What if…what if…what if…..

What one change can you make TODAY in your life?

Can you spend your time happier?

To Your Adventures!

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4 Responses to How Do You Spend Your Life?

  1. Trey May 16, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Came across this article while researching for a sermon. I love article – well written. But in your first point, you assume the average life span of a person is 60. Yet when you add up all the hours spent, the total is 66. This is pretty depressing considering there is no room for leisure in here!

    • admin May 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      Ah, Sorry Trey,

      The use of 60 years for the sleeping examples was just to make the math easier for the average sleep of 8 hours a day = 1/3 of life or 20 years.

      Yes, and exactly the point, no room for leisure…time to think about how we spend our time. I hope you found some food for thought for your sermon! Thanks for joining us here on the site,


  2. Me November 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    I want to live! I hate falling into this constant social norm! Doing things over and over and over, repeat repeat repeat. I want to break out of this prison! Thanks for this article. It really puts things into perspective.


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