Deadbeat Escapement (Astronomer Richard Towneley, 1675)I have often asked myself how to get everything I want done in a single 24 hour day.

Doctors state that we need 8 hours of continuous sleep.  Ha!  We are told to eat three meals a day. Ha, again!  If working out, that is in addition to protein shakes, power bars and a couple of juices thrown in.

But let’s leave the eating and sleeping out of this for a moment. We have work, jobs, careers, or whatever passes for such. We hear of people having to work three part-time jobs now to equal the pay they used to receive at one job.  So, if sleep and eating hours are added to the quotient, three jobs make it hard for either.

My question to you is…

“How many hours do you need to take care of everything you need to do in a single day?”

We all agree that people coming to the end of their lives won’t be saying; “I wish I had more time to go to work.”  Many disagree whether the comment will be; “I wish I had spent more time with my family.” Yet, life has many choices. We have Super Bowl Sundays, Weekend Getaways, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. We even have camping trips and summer camps separated from our kids.

We have movies and dinners, holiday parties and birthday surprises. Again, how many hours in each day will let us get to that soccer game, dance recital, drama or choral performance? How do we choose what is important? How do we justify our failures?

Every parent faces the question of whether their choices are helping or hurting. Of whether their child will turn out alright, or be scarred for life. And, sometimes, we are left wondering where “we” are as an individual in all of this? Whether we are too self-centered, egotistical, or just plain selfish. I think that maybe we are alright – as long as we continue to ask that very question.

What brought all this on?

In the “noise” that makes up our life, we seek happiness. We pray for things to get better… to work out. We seek others to validate ourselves. And, when dealing with great wrongs, we look inward. Trying to figure out if we (I) am good enough. If “I” am of worth loving.  If “I” am loved at all. Especially when grave tragedies have come to your life.

I would like to readdress a comment of which I have previously written: I trained a particular war veteran whose job was to be a tunnel rat. He had been lost inside a tunnel for three days – seeking a new way out as the tunnel he was in collapsed. Within the tight confines of his space, he came face to face with another man (boy, actually). The two could only presume the others intent and the end result was a knife taking the other boy’s life.

In training, as I felt the darkness shift in this man, I had to knock him out to avoid danger for myself. Though unconscious, he cried.  I held this man in my arms for nearly an hour as he wept. It was the first time since returning from battle that this many had spoken of his ordeal. It was then that I learned the worth of a single soul.

Our lives are not so full that we cannot see the importance of personal relationships. Maybe the lack of a job right now, for some, will enable them to really take a look at what’s important in life. To speak with a spouse, a child, a friend. Maybe this time is best used for reflection and self-reliance. Deciding upon a new course of action that promotes self-sufficiency. Making the choice to start a new career. Taking a hobby and coming to peace that this hobby can become a viable trade.

In truth, our lives will be as busy and full as we want it to be. Even if many of our choices seem unconsciously undertaken. We must be the masters our own destiny. No one can make you do something that you don’t want to do. No one can lie to you unless you want to be lied to. And, no one can take up your time unless it is freely given to be trampled upon, or benefited – it’s your choice.

So, yesterday…

I spent 2 hours on the phone with various business people, looked at three houses, a commercial property (taking 4 hours), spent 1 hour writing on a screenplay, and spent 1 hour on three meals (total). I actually took 8 hours for sleeping, but only achieved 6 ½. That left two hours for three meetings, 2 hours for training and physical fitness, and 1 ½ hours for a doctor’s appointment (including travel time). I counseled a friend in need for another 1 ½ hours, then went to the store and picked up some groceries (2 hours). Come the end of the day, I sat with my parents to hear of their day, fixing them some dinner and smiling at stories I have heard a hundred times before (1 ½ hours). Not being tired in the least. Then played with my chocolate lab (Hershey) for another hour. Somehow, I was able to eek out another 45 minutes to watch Glenn Ford in “Heaven With A Gun” with a special someone.

If you are adding it all up, you know that I have passed the 24 hour mark. That just shows it CAN be done.  Alright maybe not… but when was the last time you calculated your time through the day and carefully considered how and where you spend your time?

If I had 28 hours in a day, would I still have it so full? Would the chores of the day still be of worthwhile pursuits? If you just need a laugh to start your day, Google; “Why can’t you love me like my dog does? By Billy Currington. Or, if the site is still around, look up the “Hamster Dance.” Maybe it will put a few things in perspective. Then sit back and congratulate yourself for realizing that “YOU” control the rest of your life.

Incidentally, at least one website tells us that the earth will have a rotation of 26 hours in a day – some time in the future (

But that won’t happen in our lifetime.
We had best make the most of it now.

Image: Deadbeat Escapement (Astronomer Richard Towneley, 1675)