I am not a big fan of all the e-mail that beams from one computer to the next. It's almost as if these messages about life, home, values and mutual responsibility have a life of their own. They seem to move in pre-established patterns across the country, until the cycle begins all over again, with you finally realizing you are looking at the same messages again. It's not that I have anything against any of these above mentioned subjects, it's just that as far as my motivation is concerned, survival dictates I stay busy. Staying busy for me doesn't mean getting teary-eyed over someone else's problems. It's just that some of this stuff is about "two and a half clicks off center."

But, every so often something appears on the screen that makes you shake your head or scratch your chin. Something that makes it almost worthwhile to wade through the other stuff, looking for the meaning of life. Sometimes there are days when you wonder how some people can close their eyes at night to sleep. I am not one to often question the meaning of life. I find the busier I keep myself, the less time I have to worry about other thoughts concerning the meaning of life. In fact, its been good to me and mine. Despite that, I sometimes find myself thinking about the hidden day-to-day distractions that confront me.

The important part of this subject that I am trying to put down on paper for my readers, regards the importance of life. How we live it fully, but most important, is living wisely as well. The way I read this story, is that two gentlemen were discussing life and business, and how we sometimes miss opportunities to be with our families on important occasions. We get too involved with our work. The older gentleman was trying desperately to explain how important "being in the moment of each day" really is. I would like to share that message with you, because I believe we can't hear it often enough.

The average person can expect to live approximately 75 years, give or take a few years. There are 52 weeks in a year, and if you multiply those 52 weeks times 75 years, the total is 3,900 weeks in an average lifetime. Birth to death - 3,900 weeks. 3,900 Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. Now at first, 3,900 weeks sounds like a lot. But you have to take a closer look at the numbers to understand the point he was trying so desperately to make. This gentleman in the e-mail indicated it took 55 years for him to figure things out, to realize there are things at least as important, if not more important, than work and career. Fifty-five years to realize what life is all about and what is lost if it is squandered. Fifty-five from 75 equals 20; 20 times 52 equals 1,040 - less than a third of the original 3,900.

When he finally got things figured out, he went to a couple of local toy stores and bought 1,040 marbles and a large glass container to hold the marbles. After the 55 years, he made a commitment to himself to remove one marble from the container at the end of every Saturday and throw it away. Then, he considered whether the day had been well spent or whether the day had been thrown away.

As I read about this gentleman, I thought about the marbles I used to have (it's hard not to, as I am some years past the 1,040-marble mark myself), and started to think about my marbles: how many I have left; how many I have thrown away; how many I have wasted; and how many I have spent wisely. There are days that can never be recovered. Days I could have enjoyed with my family, but couldn't get away from work. I remember birthday and anniversary dates that were not forgotten, but replaced by other urgent concerns. There were countless dinners ruined by emergency phone calls. As I look back now, I can honestly say I missed a lot of important times with my family.

I guess we all have to remember we work to live, not the other way around. My wife tells me the most important thing is that I've realized this, with two-thirds of our life already written and sealed. With two-thirds of our life complete, I have changed my work habits and put my family first. It doesn't matter how and why we became lost, the results are the same. We need to recognize the problem to salvage some important times with our family, with however many marbles we might have left in our jar. I am glad I can still be helpful to people and my jar still has marbles left. Are we filling our lives with memories of time invested wisely; of hours, days, weeks and years well spent? Remember, keep that jar, representing time used wisely, filled, and the wasted jar empty.