I often wonder what I will do with my time after our final five years of homeschooling are all in the rear-view mirror. Not in the sense of, "Oh, whatever will I do with myself?" but simple curiosity at what my days and my summers will look like. I have more interests and more to learn and more places I want to travel than I can possibly cram into my remaining 50 years (Hey--it could happen!), so I don't fear boredom as much as I fear being overwhelmed with possibilities. There comes a time when you greet the awareness that every activity you choose means something else you don't. Economists refer to this as "opportunity cost" and it's a concept that we don't seem to assimilate experientially until halfway through life, when we realize that we likely have less life in front of us than behind.
The truth is that my life could be over tomorrow, and I could have already given up the opportunities that I hope still await me. Every hour I've idled away might have stolen the last chance I had to serve my children or read a great book or write down my life story for those who come behind me. I hope those opportunities are still ahead, but I have no guarantee.
The nice thing about being past fifty, at least for me, is that I am tending to live each day more intentionally. Oh, I still waste time...but I'm much more aware of it, and much more determined to make the hours count. Today I had an hour-long conversation with a hurting mom, a call I took from a hot car. I don't know if anything I said will make any difference for this family, but I do know that I will never regret how I spent that 1/24th of my day. My prayer tonight is that I can be increasingly sure in the next year that I won't regret any hour I spend, whether in learning or in service or in creating or just observing something beautiful.
May I come to the end of my life with no more regrets than I have today.