Have you ever heard the tale of 1000 marbles?
I hadn't either until last Saturday when I was browsing blog articles about travel and the title 1000 Marbles caught my attention.
Now it's a favorite reminder to live everyday with purpose, fun, balance and above all love for life.
If you've never heard the tale allow me to share.
It’s a story told anonymously by a man who, as he says, enjoys the solitude of his Saturday mornings. On one particular Saturday morning he was listening to a radio talk show while relaxing and drinking his coffee, before beginning his day, and he was intrigued by the conversation on the radio.
The man on the radio began saying..."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 60 or 70 hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital."
He continued, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of “1000 Marbles." He said, "You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about 75 years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about 75 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”, he said, “Here’s the important part. It took me until I was 55 years old to think about all this in any kind of detail", "and by that time I had lived through over 2800 Saturdays.”
“I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a 1000 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 3 toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here on my table. 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."
Then he said, "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 if I make it until next Saturday then I’ve 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.”
The man hearing this story on the radio on that Saturday morning began to reflect a bit. He said, “I had planned to work that morning after my cup of coffee, but instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss and said, ‘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 while since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, and oh by the way, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."
What an inspiring tale right! Definitely a great reminder that life isn't about work; it isn't about getting things done or being successful by sacrificing the things that are most important.
Life is important! Living is important. Sharing love, laughter and joy with those you love is important! Experiencing life to the fullest is important!
We all know are days are numbered, it's an inevitable fact of life, but if you could actually see your days drifting away would you change the way you live?
Would you reach for your dreams?
Love someone better?
Do everything that makes you happy?
Forgive those who have hurt you?
Spend more time making others happy?
See the world?
There are only so many Saturdays in a lifetime, how do you really want to spend them?
'til next time,