As an almost 48-year-old father of three, I think about time a lot. Here are a few perspectives that have allowed me to refocus my relationship with time, shift my priorities, and aim to Live Present.
Jim Sheils talks to the parents of younger children about the concept of “18 Summers.”
No matter what your relationship is with your children, it will change when they ‘turn 18 and move out.’
It doesn’t mean you won’t maintain a connected relationship… but it will be different.
So ‘According to Jim’ (wasn’t that the name of a 90’s sitcom?)… you only get “18 Summers” with your kids and you need to make the most each one.
If you’re like me, the moment you read that… you started doing the math! I know I did.
At the end of this current summer (which only has about a month left!), I will have 5 summers left with Luke & Jack and 7 summers left with Lyla.
And of course, even those summers aren’t guaranteed.
Time is not promised.
The concept of “18 Summers” is supported by an eye-opening stat my friend Derek Coburn once shared with me:
“When your child graduates from high school, you will have already spent 93% of the time you will spend with them over the course of your life.”
If that doesn’t cause you to pause, and possibly get a bit tearful, I don’t know what will.
I learned an equally powerful concept from Jesse Itzler, someone I truly admire and respect, about your parents.
Jesse provided this construct:
“The average life expectancy in the US is around 80 years old. Let’s say, for example, your parents are 75. That means in theory – and on average – they have 5 years left. But how often do you see them? If they live in another state, you may only see them 2-3 times per year. Which means in reality, you don’t have 5 more years with them… you have 10-15 more visits with them. Obviously, if your parents are older or you see them lest often that number of visits dwindles pretty low.”
That HITS ME HARD.
I don’t share this to scare you, worry you, or upset you.
I share this to help you reframe your perspective and appreciation on time… and to give you a sense of urgency to maximize it with those that you love.