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James Morabito: Time passes quickly, so spend yours wisely

Whether we want to admit it or not, time is a very important factor in our lives. The question is: Is time a friend or an enemy?

There are times when time is our friend. Spending time with a baby or a child, attending your child’s sporting events or concerts or just relaxing on the beach are examples of when the time spent is rewarding or satisfying. On the other hand, life on this earth is finite for all of us, and as one gets older, the limited nature of time can make one uncomfortable. Is this a waste of time? Or, do I have the time to do what I want to do?

When I was much younger, about 30 years ago, I wanted to be a writer – not just a writer, but a good writer. Writing had always been my strong suit in high school and college. In my work, my ability to write in a way that would connect with people was very important. I sometimes wrote advertising, appeared in commercials, etc.

I had two articles published in the original version of Buffalo Magazine. One was a humorous essay, and the other was a humorous story. I was published elsewhere also, and I was on my way as a writer. However, being a beginning writer is no way to support oneself, much less a family, so here I am, 30 years later, getting back to writing.

From my perspective today, the 30 years seem to have gone by very quickly. Did I pack enough living into such a big chunk of my life? Did I waste time? Was I efficient and ambitious enough in my professional pursuits? Was the time well spent? It is certainly gone.

I took care of my mother every day for a year and a half before she died. It was one of the best things I have ever done. We had so much fun. During that amount of time, a dedicated writer could turn out one or two books, but that would not compare to the satisfaction and rewards that I got by taking care of my mother.

Now, in my 60s, I have to decide if there is time left for me to do any of the things that I want to do. Is time my friend, or is it my enemy? There are real choices to be made. I want to write, yes, but that is not all that I want to do.

I would like to do some television. I would like to develop a public affairs show, “Upstate Goes National,” that will allow local people, experts as well as regular citizens, across upstate New York to express themselves on national issues and topics. Usually, local television covers local topics. I happen to feel that we are just as entitled to express our views on national topics as well. Or, I could do a show called “How’s Business?” It would give an up-close and informative look at businesses, and what makes them tick.

Can I do this and try to be a writer as well? How many good working years do I have left? Will trying to do both dilute my efforts?

I would never presume to give anyone advice regarding the subject of time. We are all in the same boat. Life will end eventually – sometimes sooner, sometimes later. I would say, though, as a suggestion, that once in a while it is good to take stock and consider time.

Speaking of stock, one thing to consider when buying a stock is how well it will do over time. If you would do that for an investment, doesn’t it make sense to consider how you yourself will do over time, and what you will do? Do you have time to go to graduate school? Is it too late for you to start a new career? How long do you want to live in that house?

The last 30 years didn’t tell me they were going to fly by. They just did.