How To Spend The Rest Of Your Life


It’s Monday today, but I can’t talk until Friday. That’s the rules.

I’m in a room with a small bed, a bathroom, a sink. I can sit outside and look at the trees. Claudia is two doors down from me.

She can’t talk either. No talking!

Her computer is in “airplane mode.” “You have to put it in “airplane mode”, she told me. More rules!

I break some rules though.

A wooden cross with a young man nailed to it is hanging on the wall slightly higher than this computer. It’s because I’m at a Benedictine nunnery.

This is my vacation.

Next week, we take my kids to Miami. Taking kids anywhere is not a vacation. The entire purpose of a kids vacation is to make sure they don’t drown.

I hope I can be silent until Friday. My basic problem is that I don’t know how to do anything.

For instance, I don’t know how to make coffee. Or I’ve never really used a stove. Or boiled an egg. So I’m a bit nervous I won’t eat. But supposedly the nuns are masters of these details.

Claudia tried to explain when we were checking in: there’s the filters, here’s the coffee, here’s some buttons, they mean different things.

Ugh! If I wanted to build a spaceship I would’ve started a spaceship company!

I get to read, though. I have lots of books. I finished “Hocus Pocus” by Vonnegut earlier and veered right into three new books.

I get to write a lot. I will. I hope I will.

Someone asked me, “How do you spend your life?”

Like life is a currency. It’s a bank account that dwindles with time.

Or is swindled by time.

What do you spend your life on? I spend my life on my kids. On Claudia. On my friends.

I spend it on people I want to have as my friends. I want you to be my friends.

I spend my life trying to be good at things. But I’m not sure yet that is life worth spent.

Sometimes I spend it on people I don’t like. That’s never good.

And eventually it will be all gone.

I guess I’ll wonder where it all went.

I hope my children, and Claudia, and my friends, and the people who I want to be my friends show me where it all went.

I hope my life has many dividends.

Like any currency, we can make good investments or bad ones. Good investments feed everyone around you. Bad investments starve them. And then starve you.

I can’t spend yesterday’s life. It’s already gone. I can’t spend tomorrow’s. It’s not here. You can’t spend a check before it clears. I can only spend today.

So this moment I am spending it the best way I know how.

By right now, hitting “Publish”.

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image – Johan Larsson