My friend, Mike, isn’t losing his marbles. He’s using them.
Mike’s close friends call him “Marbles.” “Marbles,” what a weird nickname! Here’s how he earned it.
Once upon a time Mike was curious about how long he might have left on the earth. Actuarial tables report how long on average any particular age person might live. Suppose somebody found their age on the chart said 25 years. That would mean half the people would likely die in 25 years or less and half the people would die after 25 years.
Mike found his age on the chart when his life expectancy was 25 years. He multiplied that by 52 and figured out that he might have 1300 weeks. He went to a craft store and bought more than 1300 marbles. He kept 1300 and gave away the excess.
“Marbles” is not superstitious. He had no illusion that buying craft store marbles would guarantee him 25 more years on this earth. Time and chance will overtake us all. He recognizes that a drunk driver could hit him tomorrow or that good genes and first world medicine might give him more time.
Every week has a Saturday and that’s the day when “Marbles” has the most options about what to do. Every Saturday, he takes a marble out of the jar, thinks about his day, and carries the marble with him.
Some Saturdays he does great things with grandkids or trusted friends or in service to people who can never repay him. Occasionally he gets sick. Two Saturdays he spent in the hospital. Some days he takes naps. Some days he does nothing in particular or something that he hopes people don’t find out about. The marble is a tangible focusing tool.
Every Saturday night he throws that marble in the trash. He knows that even if he kept the marble, the day is gone.
He hopes that he’s developing a heart of wisdom. “Marbles” does not kill time. Instead he regards every Saturday as an unmerited gift, a bit of grace. That’s a fine example for me and “Marbles’” other friends. We think a bit about our own mortality whenever we use his nickname.
Your legacy will be what people say, think and do because of your impact. Some people have more influence than others, but we all influence people around us, sometimes for good and sometimes for ill. You don’t need to be a military officer or an elected official or a boss, to influence others. Breathing is enough.
Hopefully, you and I still have many Saturdays, many marbles, left. Friend, you and I have already lost some of our marbles. I’ve probably lost more of my marbles than you have.
The question is: “What you do with the remaining Saturdays? “Marbles” is already thinking about his next weekend. He’s got plans for many of his coming Saturdays. What about you?
May you choose wisely.
Do you have some way that keeps you mindful of what’s most important to you? If so, please share with me.
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”