The Path Less Traveled #015: Life’s Short, Make Time
Andrew D 06.21.21
When is the last time you took your old college friend’s offer to hang out, and did it?
How many offers for engaging in various activities do you put off for work, repairs around the house, or studying versus the time you spent doing those tasks? I bet the math shows that you could have and should have gone out with friends, gone out with the family, gone out and reconnect with those old BFF’s. Life’s short, make time.
Welcome to our recurring series of “The Path Less Traveled.” In this series, we want to take you along for our exploits out in the wilderness while hiking, camping, exploring, and general adventuring. This will include our small daily victories, foibles, tips, tricks, and reviews of gear we authentically appreciate and frequently utilize. While a well-worn trail can often be the pathway to a leisurely day, the paths less traveled can often spur on some of the greatest memories, misadventures, and fun we could imagine. Join us in the Comments as we share our travels, and hopefully, we can all come together for a greater appreciation of the outdoors.
Research shows that frequent contact and activities with friends (not family) results in better episodic memory and executive functioning (Sharifian, 2020). Research also concludes that failing to act on offered events or activities leads to a poorer satisfaction with one’s own life (Naidu, 2003), but we already knew that, right?
Are we really all that busy that entertainment feels like a task or a chore? Is it that technology is making us more socially isolated despite being more connected than ever? I do not know the answers to these questions, but it sure does make me think.
Posts about Tradition, Family, and Priorities
- Kids, Christmas, and Gun Safety – Make it a Priority
- A Father, Daughter, and their First Deer! – Frank and Gianna Spartano
- Foraging For Morels – The Hidden Prize of the Forest
Jeff, I really need to make it out to your farm. Gotta do this before the end of the year.
I went to a funeral for a relative recently. There were cousins, uncles, and people I have not seen for a decade or more. The saying “Time Flies” is really true. Therefore, we need to make time for those we care about, whether we feel like it or not. I feel like this ties in well with loss aversion, or the ambiguity effect is in play. There are a lot of events and activities I avoid, blaming work or not having a pet sitter when I do not end up doing anything important. The status-quo is sometimes a tough boulder to get out from behind, right Sisyphus?
How many friends, trails, events, or locations are on your bucket list that you honestly have not considered completing? If you have watched more episodes of Game of Thrones / Bojack Horseman / The Sopranos than you have been out and doing things, it might be a good time to sit down and re-evaluate priorities in your life.
What Do You Want? Make a Plan.
Start figuring out what things in life you would like to spend more time with. To do this, develop a plan to bring these tasks from an idea to activity. Set times for when you want to do these things.
Example, Grandma lives in Bar Harbor, Maine, so visiting her for Christmas is not a possibility, as she will be snowed in. That would be a great time to get your rock-climbing buddy from undergrad to head to the Poconos and shred some powder.
Not everyone has the luxury of having vacation time. (Thank God for a three-day work week!!!), but this also makes one evaluate whether they value the work and wages they spend so much time on more than other things in life. Maybe it is time to go back to school to have a higher income potential and work less? Maybe it is time to work less overall and adjust your living expenses to provide more time for non-work-related activities? Whatever you want to do, ensure that the responsibilities you have are able to fit your desired goals.
Find A Mentor
Is there a friend of yours that goes on a trip (and reviews guns) every month, in addition to trips across the US/World and you wonder how they do it (besides income)?
Recently, I’ve found myself watching a lot of YouTube videos about a new motorcycle that was about to be released. I had not a clue the first thing it would take to get back on a motorcycle after fifteen years of not riding one. Asking for advice and mapping out the tasks needed to get the skills/gear to get back on the bike was a lot easier with guidance from a friend or mentor. They were able to guide me through what I needed, what was a waste of time, and how to go about attaining the skills and gear to get riding.
Lastly, make sure to put some blinders on. It is easy to get distracted from major goals in life, let alone auxiliary goals like seeing your cousin in Hoboken more often than Mount Saint Helens erupts. I know that at work, I spend around 60% of my time working, and the rest reading random articles that may or may not be relevant to the task at hand. If you are in a salaried position that does not require you to be there 60-hours a week and your company can let you work from home once your true work is done, what are you doing with your life? How much time is sunk into Facebook? Video games? TV? These are distractions from you either making more money, or spending more time with friends on the trail.
Obviously, let’s be honest. A lot of us will not make any major life changes after reading this article. Many of us will likely spend more time on the toilet than we will learn how to restore that beat up of K5 Blazer we inherited from our father or mastering the skills to begin wood working/machining. Take inventory of your life for 24 hours and jot down where your time is spent. If the data disappoints or dissatisfies you, figure out what needs to change.
As Mick Jagger states, time waits for no one. We all run the same race (called life), some of us just get to the finish line before others. Make sure you stay aware no one knows how long we have on this planet.
Make sure you make time for those things that are important to you, they may not be around as long as you hope.