Time: do you have too much or too little?
In my younger days, I often felt that time went too slow. As I get older, I see that it really goes too fast. In the book “The Time Keeper” by Mitch Albom, we are told a story of the real Father Time, and how he returns to earth to show two very different people the value of time, in reality, the value of life.
Dor is Father Time, punished by God for choosing to measure time, instead of merely experiencing life, by banishment to a cave to live for millenia. Dor is only released when he sees that measuring time (it goes too fast, or too slow) is foolish, and is given the chance to help two people who need his message before they make life-changing decisions.
It’s a bit like the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, so you know how it will go, but “The Time Keeper” is well-written and fast, @ 200 pages, like all Mitch Albom books. For we so often too-busy Baby Boomers, it’s just right.
The two main characters are Victor, a very successful businessman with a terminal illness, who doesn’t want to die – at all, and goes to exraordinary lengths to find a way to stay “alive” forever. The other is a teenage girl, Sarah, who is all worked up over a boy, who is in reality “just not that into her”.
Dor finds a way to put the two of them together in a mystical story, that has a happy ending. Victor realizes that his passing is part of his life, and he owes it to his wife to give her all his time left, not just his money. He learns that the process of dying is an important part of life. That this time is a gift, as valuable as any other part of his life.
Sarah is in such a hurry to experience life, that she brushes over the obvious flaws in her plans. When they go awry, she becomes suicidal. She barely rescues herself before she dies. Her rescue gives her the strength to go on to live a good life.
In both cases, the characters took a “one choice” approach to their problem. They failed to develop a series of options, to weigh the positives and negatives, and make a balanced decision. In each case, their decision might have caused tremendous pain and suffering on the part of those people they loved most.
All of this made me think of boomers I know, who have made “one choice” decisions, and regretted it. Or simply prolonged the inevitable, and saw a damaged business or family as a result. It’s so uneccessary. Taking the “time” to think about your future, create options, and then talk to family and advisors, is always well worth it. That time will give you the ability to make better choices. Much like the message in the book.
If you’d like to take some time to think about your future, click the image to the left to download the free How Ready Are You? assessment. It will help you get a sense of how prepared you may be to transition to a new, more purposeful future.