Brace yourself for some TMI. I’m half Italian, and that half knows how to grow hair. Really well. Like so well that I shave my legs every day. As I was shaving recently, I got to thinking about how much time I have cumulatively spent doing this over the course of my life.
I know you’re dying to know the answer. And I know this is not hyperbole. Because you care.
First, a brief summary of my math: it takes me about two minutes to shave my legs. I’ve been shaving for a LONG time, so…without further ado (and saving you from any more of my personal specificity)…
Drumroll, please… I have shaved my legs 12,126 times, roughly. (Though when I’m done…it’s more like smooooothly.) That comes out to 24,252 minutes, or…
404 hours…or 17 days. Over the course of my life so far, I’ve shaved my legs longer than the average American gets for vacation time.
It all adds up, doesn’t it?
More than a few times, I’ve been known to utter, “If I had a dollar for every minute I’ve spent waiting for (my kid, doctor, traffic, checkout line…) I could retire right now.” It’s a way for me to acknowledge the impact of how these little pieces of my life get eaten up.
When you look at something in isolation, it is often insignificant—but the cumulative effect is not.
Buy a pizza once a week for $20, and it’s barely a drop in the bucket. Yearly? Over a thousand dollars. That’s one big extra-large with pepperoni and mushroom, for sure. Over time, a little can turn into a lot.
Screensuck time is a popular nemesis for me. “Well, there went two minutes of my life” is a thought I have all too often as I fall prey to yet another video that shows someone doing a cover of “Uptown Funk” or native Italians trying Olive Garden for the first time. Am I really better off knowing these things?
Now…I’m not saying there’s no value in viral videos. I absolutely love the warm fuzzies I get from watching a puppy video—and combine puppy and baby? Oh, does my heart smile wide.
Here…take a moment to see what I mean:
Yes…there is (at least for me) value to a video or two, but…I need to be mindful of the cumulative effect. I need more discernment because while it’s “only” a few minutes, it adds up to more than it should.
As you read this, please know that I aim to never make your time here feel like it’s been wasted. On average (thank you WordPress stats), it takes three minutes to read one of my posts (not including the occasional puppy video)…and I post once a week, so if you choose to read every post (THANK YOU), I’m asking for nearly three hours of your year—or the time it would take to watch 52 kitten videos (equality for all). I don’t take that lightly. Lord knows I’ve written my share of clunkers, but…it’s never on purpose! I truly value the gift of time you give me as a reader. (I feel as though I need to make one more parenthetical comment in this paragraph because four doesn’t quite drive home my point about valuing your time. Five is better. There. See? Five is better.)
There’s plenty of little things that add up and take (time, money), but what about those that give? Things that don’t feel like much because they are small, but…they add up, too.
Smiles. Kind words. Hugs. They don’t take much, do they? And with these you don’t even have to wait for a cumulative effect because even on their own…they add up. A solid hug from a friend has value both each time and all time. I love hugs I get from friends who are “huggers” and give one each time they see me, and I love hugs that happen because you look into someone’s eyes and you know they could use one. It’s all good.
Can you name people in your life that have great and easy smiles? How about those that you can depend on for a kind word? Small moments with big impacts.
The gift of a little that feels like a lot.
I don’t know about you, but I will never have my fill of those kinds of little things. Ever.
All the little things in life add up. It’s just a matter of reducing the “bad” and nurturing the “good.” Of making sure that time wasted doesn’t outweigh time well spent. Of keeping an eye on both the quantity and the quality because this life is all you’ve got.
All the moments count. They turn into days that turn into years that become a life. Your life. How it adds up is up to you.
But in case you’re interested, this video is 16 seconds so sweet that you’ll want to skip dessert…(You’re welcome. And, yes, this is my last parenthetical comment for this post.)