Time

“I’m writing this while 30,000 feet in the air.” Stole that from Kendrick Lamar.

That’s a great song.

I’m on my way to Vancouver. I’ll spend 3 days there. I’m on the ‘Red-Eye’. Woke up at 4:30 to make it to my plane for 7. I don’t feel that tired. It’s only 8:50 now and I’ve already finished one of the most important pieces of literature that I’ve ever read.

On The Shortness of Life by Seneca.

First off, how cool is it to have one name. Seneca. One name that has lasted hundreds of years. This may not be the first thing I read from Seneca because I took Philosophy 101 but this is certainly the one thing that I will revisit often. I’ll remember the first time I read this essay. I’ll remember where I was when I read it.

How incredible for a man, to be able to put into words, the way in which we waste time without any regard or regret. As if we will live forever.

I was just talking to the person next to me about going to Vancouver and he said “It’s good you get to go out to Vancouver.”

I replied, this is not the way I’d like to experience Vancouver. I’ll be in meetings. Back to back to back all week.

I told him I’ve been to Vancouver 3 times now and I still haven’t visiting Stanley Park. I’m not complaining here. Many people would feel very blessed to be in my shoes. A position to have work pay for your trip out to Vancouver is a dream for most. It certainly was for me.

I remember when my parents used to ask me what I wanted to do when I was about 14-15 and I would say be a business man that gets to travel often.

Then a few years ago my former supervisor told me “You think that’s what you want but trust me it’s not”. I didn’t trust him. I still thought, maybe it wasn’t for him but it is for me. I was 22 at the time. My relationship with Eliz wasn’t as strong as it is today.

Last year a similar conversation took place when I talked to Bazinga’s CEO who happened to be in Toronto and I was able to meet with him in the airport before his flight. Think about that for a moment. He was so busy on his trip that I only had a chance to see him right before his flight.

He told me the same thing “Trust me you don’t want to be on the road this much. I’d much rather be with my family”. He has has 3 kids. I saw in his face how much he missed them. Work has been taking up his time.

One of the first things he said to me, I remember this vividly. It was my first month at the job and he was visiting Toronto. I was shadowing him for the day as part of training. I had just finished university a month.

At that point I wanted to be a CEO at some point. I wanted to understand how he did it. We were getting coffee before our meeting. Weather was nice, it was a beautiful summer day and we sat on the patio of a coffee shop in downtown Toronto. He told me “CEO’s are employees.”

Now I look back and finally understand what he means. He has such an immense amount of pressure on him. Stakeholders have entrusted him with their money, employees are, in a way, entrusting him with their future, their lives. He has to take time away from his family. Miss important moments.

Is this what I wanted?

Yeah, it was. At that point it was. Now, not so much. I want to spend time with my family. My friends.

Last night we got together and watched the Super Bowl. What a great game but I barely remember a moment from the game. I remember my friend telling about a conversation he had with his dad. I remember the way they were playing with Niko. I remember the pizza man running away after hearing Niko’s bark. Then again when Niko walked out for a second.

Those are memories I’ll cherish. I can’t make this types of memories if I’m away at work.

It’s so great to work from home. I think I went through a stage where maybe I was mildly depressed because of working from home. I don’t want to use the term depressed lightly but at times that’s how I felt.

The company was going through a restructure and I didn’t know if I needed to keep doing what I’ve been doing or start looking for another job because my side of the business was being cut out. Sitting in front of the computer without a thing to do but listen to your own worry and anxiety can be disastrous.

I remember I kept logging into Facebook when I said I wouldn’t that day. I kept logging into Twitter and wasting time. Instagram was a time sucker. Unproductive. I didn’t know how to be productive.

I decided to get off social media for a while. It actually helped. Not as much as the company actually telling me what was important and what our goals were.

I’m in a better place now with work and hopefully it’s going to get even better after this trip.

I’m back on social media now and I have deleted so many ‘”Friends” off my Facebook. Unfollowed many on Instagram. I share things now and hope my friends and family see it and that’s enough for me. I look at Instagram and see my friends and family’s posts. I may message some of them about their picture. Let them know I’m thinking of them. It’s a much better way to do social media.

Time.

That’s what it came down to. I knew I was wasting away time by checking a Facebook page of someone I remember briefly from middle school. Watching videos he shared. Reading his posts. I knew I had outgrown him but for whatever reason, I still had him on Facebook. This is one example of the 730 people I unfriended. In 25 minutes one Sunday afternoon I went from 760 friends to around 30-40.

I Kon-Mari’ed my Facebook list. Wtf is Kon-Mari? Great question.

My mother in law to be handed me this small book about how organizing your closet and your things can help you become more productive. I finished it in a few days. Proceeded to donate 80% of my clothes, rid myself of paper, books I wasn’t going to read and other miscellaneous items. A few months later I realized I needed to do this with my contact list and on that wonderful Sunday afternoon sitting in front of the fireplace at my future in-laws house a few weeks ago, I rid myself of a lot ‘Friends’.

It comes back to time.

We waste it. Without even realizing it. As if we have an endless supply. We don’t. We are not immortal.

I no longer hope to be CEO of a billion dollar company. What use would I have for all that money if I’m constantly being taken away from family? What use would I have for all those objects I’d buy if I couldn’t’ have time for myself?

I don’t know if these are thoughts of a mad man but I would much rather be flying out to Vancouver right now with my family and friends to enjoy Stanley Park. To go snowboarding in Banff. To hike on one of the mountains.

Sounds a lot like I’m complaining, I know. I still feel blessed. I’ll get to see my boss and have a chat with him that I’ve been hoping to have. He is someone I respect immensely. For that I’m grateful.

As I mentioned before, I’m 25 but I realize life is short and it becomes shorter the more you waste it.

I’m trying not to waste time anymore. I will be more protective of it. I will spend more of it with people I love. People I enjoy. I hope they can make the time for me.

I was told to never turn down a coffee meeting because you never know where it can end up. I’ve listened to that advice and I have been pleasantly surprised before. However, I just can’t see myself wasting my time on every coffee invite or discussion. Learning to say no is powerful and I’m going to learn to say ‘No’ and ‘Hell Yes’ more.

Time can be a great friend or an enemy. Either way it always moves forward. I’m going to to preserve my time. I’m going to try to spend it on things I want to do, with people I want to be around. I don’t think it will be an easy task in this day and age but maybe I’m completely wrong. Maybe it’s easier than I think.

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Author: Mehmet Akcagliyan

I am the Master of my Fate. I am the Captain of my Soul.

2 thoughts on “Time”

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