Count Your Marbles
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps
it's the quiet solitude that comes with being
the first to rise. Or maybe it's the unbounded
joy of not having to be at work. Either way,
the first few hours of a Saturday morning are
most enjoyable. Won't you agree?
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling towards the
kitchen with a steaming cup of coffee in one
hand and the morning paper in the other. What
began as a typical Saturday morning turned into
one of those lessons that life seems to hand
you from time to time.
(Read Related : Inspiring
Let me tell you about it.
I turned the volume up on my radio in order
to listen to a Saturday morning talk show. I
heard an older-sounding chap with a golden voice.
You know the kind. He sounded like he should
be in the broadcasting business himself.
He was talking about "a thousand marbles"
to someone named Tom. I was intrigued, and sat
down to listen to what he had to say.
"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're
busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well,
but it's a shame you have to be away from home
and your family so much. Hard to believe a young
fellow should have to work sixty or seventy
hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you
missed your daughter's dance recital."
He continued, "Let me tell you something,
Tom, something that has helped me keep a good
perspective on my own priorities."
And that's when he began to explain his theory
of "a thousand marbles."
"You see, I sat down one day and did a
little arithmetic. The average person lives
about seventy-five years. I know, some live
more and some live less, but on average, folks
live for about seventy-five years."
"Now then, I multiplied 75 by 52, and
I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays
that the average person has in their entire
lifetime. Now stick with me, Tom, I'm getting
to the important part."
(Read Related : Inspirational
"It took me until I was fifty-five years
old to think about all this in any detail",
he went on.
"And by that time I had lived through
over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got down
thinking and realized that if I lived to seventy-five
years old, I only had about a thousand of them
left to enjoy."
"So I went to a toy store and bought every
single marble they had. I ended up having to
visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles.
I took them home and put them inside of a large,
clear plastic container right here in my workshop
next to the radio. Every Saturday since then,
I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.
I found that by watching the marbles diminish,
I focused more on the really important things
in life. There is nothing like watching your
time here on this earth run out to help get
your priorities straight."
"Now let me tell you one last thing before
I sign off with you and take my lovely wife
out for breakfast. This morning, I took the
very last marble out of the container. I figure
that if I make it until next Saturday, then
I have been given a little extra time. And the
one thing we can all use is a little more time."
"It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope
you'll spend more time with your loved ones,
and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a
You could have heard a pin drop when he finished.
Even the show's moderator didn't have anything
to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us
all a lot to think about.
I had planned to do some work that morning,
and then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs
and woke my wife up with a kiss.
"C'mon, honey, I'm taking you and the
kids to breakfast."
"What brought this on?" she asked
with a smile.
"Oh, nothing special, it's just been a
long time since we spent a Saturday together
with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store
while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."
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