One thing in my life I would change

October 9, 2014



Last Sunday in church the topic was “given the opportunity what is one thing in my life I’d change?” Of course that got me to thinking…. Many things in my life I would like to change:

  • I’d weigh less
  • I’d eat healthier
  • I’d get more sleep
  • I’d volunteer more
  • I’d watch less TV
  • I’d drink less beer and wine
  • etc.

Correspondingly there are things in my life I would not change

  • My family
  • Time and place I live


150px-Wooden_hourglass_3I came to my answer in a roundabout way. I’ve always wished I had more “time“. Queen Elizabeth I once stated “I would give half my kingdom for a moment of time!” – (arcane fact, a “moment” was 1/40 of an hour, something to do with Sundials.) Time is a most precious resource and one that cannot be banked or saved.

What change would give me the most return in terms of time? It seems to me the one thing I could change to yield the maximum payout in terms of time would be to simplify my life. There are other benefits to simplifying not the least of which are:

  • More moneySimplifying means less stuff to buy and maintain. Only buy stuff  you need not what you want. Throw away of sell stuff you don’t need.
  • Less StressSimplifying reduces responsibilities, commitments and stuff that you don’t want


I’ve actually tried to simplify my lifestyle over the last few years. A couple of examples:

  • I sold my travel trailer a few years back because of the time I spent maintaining it.
  • Over the years I collected a fairly large library. One day, realizing I would never read most of them again I tossed 1/4th of them in boxes to sell at Half Price Books. I’ve gone through this process multiple times and collapsed a library of 5 bookcases to 4 selves on one bookcase. As a result I’ve much more space in my home office, it’s less cluttered, and much more pleasant environment.
My bookcase

My bookcase

Going forward I plan to:

  • Continue to divest myself of stuff I don’t need.
  • Even though I’m retired I’ve too many time commitments. I plan to start saying NO to new requests and find a graceful way to bow out of the less important, to me, time commitments.
  • A couple of years before I retired I a few articles that claimed the biggest problem most retirees face is “what to do with all the time you now have”. So I spent some time thinking and created an extensive list of goals. What a mistake! My problem is not enough time not too much time! So, I’m going to prune the goals I am working on to one or two at a time.

There’s much more I could try to simplify my life but I’ve learned my lesson for at least a short while. Don’t try to do too much at once or in this case don’t try to do too much less at once.


Some helpful resources