3900 Saturday Mornings & 1,000 Marbles – Enjoy Every One

I received this in an email from my Uncle Bill that I think is awesome to share here….its about maximizing the days we are alive on this earth….and since today is a Saturday as I post this, it is even more fitting. Read it below, and I’ll put my 2 cents afterwards:

3900 Saturdays

The older I get the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.

Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital” he continued. “Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.”

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.”

“Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.”

“Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.”

“There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”

“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”

“It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss… “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.” “What brought this on” she asked with a smile.” “Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.”

A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend.

And so, as one smart bear once said…”If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.” – Winnie the Pooh.

Yes, reading this is moving for me…..and I keep thinking am LIVING TO WORK – or am i WORKING TO LIVE? I especially really live every day around my business….which is cool, but it is then hard to know when I am working and when I am on a day off. Always thinking of those cool movies I watched like Scarface, Lord of War, thinking of the life, the adventure of doing business internationally. To build a company, to seize opportunity. To become great and to be able to pass opportunity down to those we feel are hard working and need a good chance to make something of their life.

But yes…I need to spend more time with family and friends…..and enjoy life!

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Comments 11

  1. ;P i luv sat mornings coz i can sleep in, normally i dun do mornings ;P

    well yes…sometimes i think, this mikey guy, what’s he thinking?…being successful’s one thing but, as u claim u r a workholic, mayb u do enjoy working everyday..being under stress, n keep pushing urself to the extreme…

    after a few yrs of work n look back, u may mostly c what u did r business…but just, never regret of what u’d done 🙂 as i still feel like, u r doing quite gd so far~

    i’m very lucky, i work for partying n to cover the spending on traveling n hanging out. i never really needa worry abt living mayb coz i still live wit my parents n they dun need my money really.

    but when i go to the uk it’ll b another challenge ;P i dun wanna b back so soon so i’ll try to b a tank gal n fight there hee. still will def enjoy life alot i’m sure~

  2. Your living to work 🙂 – and don’t let anyone talk you out of it if it’s what you love! If it’s not… well then your just as dumb as I am – busting your ass to ends you may not even desire. I hope I can draw a line and when I reach that level I can re-prioritize my life to spend the time with the people and doing the things I think are most important in life. I hope I don’t lose that resolve in the journey though – I worry about that from time to time. Let us not forget how to stop and smell the flowers in the time we spend trucking ahead….

  3. Post

    wow, thanks for all the comments guys……

    @Lammy – yea…i’m just some crazy workaholic…..but hey , i get to travel and see so many people and cultures….its kinda lonely though, because i dont get to really spend solid time with any one person….its kinda why i keep this blog…..to have my “online life” and friends.

    @Scott – we are all losing our marbles man…..may as well lose em like a rockstar…

    @Larry – thanks dude, hope to see you tomm night

    @Dave – well, like this blog’s title, its all about the hustle….the pursuit, the endless fight to get there. But the idea is, life never ends, and we just gotta maximize what we have when we have it. If that makes any sense?

  4. um…tell u what i do when i travel alone. whenever i travel i never feel lonely, actually i seldom feel lonely ;P

    i’d talk to random ppl n make frenz wit them ;P ( i think u r doing that too)
    we should b proud as we got frenz around the globe! scatter around countries~ this is very cool!

    so u’v so many frenz around the world, in the visual world n reality, should never feel lonely 😉

    for traveling, normally there r too much to c as well which just keep me busy. i just keep observing ppl n i walk alot too.

    i remember i walked fm new york seaport to 57th street. whenever ppl know abt how far i walk all da time they r shocked haha. some frenz cant cope as i’m too energetic, tho i walk slower than u do..

    1. Post

      wow, South Street seaport to 57th street…..I think i have done that before, but its over 60 blocks of walking! AWESOME!!

      I guess I am not really complaining about the traveling, but it does wear me down and I need a base!

      but sure, drink a shot of whiskey and live it up

  5. This is such a great and inspirational story. I am only 24 and I think I’ll go out a buy a few marbles this weekend. It’s never too early to get your priorities figured out….and whether you’re working to live or living to work.

    -a small southern business owner

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      hey Allie!!!!

      YES, being a small business owner here as well, we both have to balance our work / live lifestyles. Let those marbles remind us to appreciate every day on this earth

      all the best to you, and thanks for reading

  6. This is very true fact of our life. We spend most of our life in thinking for tomorrow, sleeping because of hard work etc but we never thought of the most important things which we can do during our ideal time. If we start utilising our Weekends or holidays in accomplising our life objective, we would be among few happiest person who lived their life to the extent we want.

    PS: Special thanks to Brian Dsouza, my L&P colleague who told this stroy for prioritizing our work.

    Girish Bhagchandani

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