What A Waste

Well, it’s Thursday again and we all know that means Friday is tomorrow. I know many are in a “can’t wait” mode for this weekend. And most of these people say they can’t wait for every weekend. Well, I can wait for it. In fact, I wake up each day and love to live it as it is – weekend or not. It didn’t matter that I spent 12 hours of my week in airports and on airplanes. And that was just by Tuesday night. Life is too short to waste your time on things like regret.

So today I wanted to cover the idea of waste in life. I am sitting in a Starbucks. I had my usual double espresso and birthday cake pop and I looked at the paper waste that gets thrown in the trash after I’m done. I watched as people picked up their drinks today and added the extra sleeve, the stopper in the top, grabbed a straw and napkins; some even added a second cup and a sleeve. I watched that and looked at the mess of paper at my own table. I’m thinking, “What a waste.” But this blog is not about the political or environmental issues of waste. It’s about how so many of us waste our lives.

Today millions will sit and spend five, minutes, ten minutes, maybe more gazing out a window, or staring at something on a desk and thinking, “I wish I was…” How much of your life is being wasted by thinking of, waiting on, or fantasizing about some place you are not – geographically or in your life plan? Yes, we need to spend time dreaming, planning and building a better tomorrow. But 2011 is almost over and how much time have you wasted doing nothing to make your personal goals and dreams come true? It is time to work at living. To find a way to enjoy the moments you have now.

This is also the time of year that we watch as our favorite football team  play. I have watched as a team has played for three quarters of the game just making average plays that get them a few yards but then they give up a few yards. They haven’t excelled in the game and they are either tied or behind. Then, how many times have you watched a team make two touchdowns in the last five minutes of a game and wonder why did they not start that way at the beginning of the game? In the end, it doesn’t matter because they made the big plays when it counted and were ahead at the end of the game. They didn’t waste the last few moments left on the game clock. Well in your year the game time for 2011 is almost over; it’s time to make those big plays.

Yesterday we talked about taking big risks. Today we are focusing on not wasting the last few precious moments. It was this time last year that I was planning an end-of-the-year trip to Florida. It was to see my younger brother who had gone back to get his high school diploma later in life, and then went on to college in his 40s. He had graduated with honors and we were having a family celebration of that great event. I needed a few more miles on my bike to get in the top ten in our local HOG chapter for the total number of miles traveled on my motorcycle in a year. I planned the trip so it would give me about another 3000 miles.

That last trip pushed me to the top of the group in total miles and I became the number one for most miles traveled in 2010. But the last day of the year, in the last few hours, I received a phone call that my Dad had passed. I had to fly to Pennsylvania and was there over a month so I was not able to get those miles turned in to get my award.

In life we could be chasing so many goals that we could actually miss the focus of the life we are living. Frankly, it was a cold motorcycle trip to take two weeks before Christmas – even going to Sunny Florida. The sleeping quarters were tight once I got there, with all of us in my brother Ken’s small house. But it was the greatest family week I’ve had. We spent hours playing card games with nearly all of us at the table. Ken and Mom cooked some great food. We all laughed and enjoyed the time so much. While I was in pursuit of a great goal of riding at the end of the year, I got an even better joy. I had an awesome time, and it was the last fun time I got to spend with my Dad, as it was the last time I got to see him alive.

Life is short; don’t waste it all in the pursuit of the goals that ultimately don’t matter and enjoy those moments you have. They are all precious; they all have meaning. Yes, we sometimes have to work at things we don’t like to make money to pay bills. Yes, we have to do the jobs we hate to work our way up to the dream job or position we want. But enjoy the time you have where you are and you will someday look back and find the true blessing in that moment. Don’t spend that time looking back with regret you did not do something. Don’t waste your time. As my old boss used to say: Wherever you are at, be there.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Enjoy the moments you have and don’t waste them and you will soon see yourself as the RockStar in your world.

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