3900 Marbles


A friend and fellow chair for Vistage Worldwide, Chas Humphreyson, gave me a great gift this holiday. It was not a tie, or a bauble of any kind, it was a way to look at my life. Good timing at the end of 2018, as I was looking at 2019 and beyond.

Chas had heard and retold a story; 3900 Saturdays. Let me explain it the way he explained it to me.

If we look at our life in the most objective way possible–as an actuarial table–we are likely to live to 75 to 85 depending on health and good fortune. Let’s say the best day of every week is Saturday. It is the day you spend with your family, work on that special project, play golf, print a photograph or do something else that is important to you. If you look at 75 years x 52 weeks, that’s 3900 Saturdays.

Stay with me for just a little more math. How old are you now? Let’s say 45. 75 minus 45 is 30 years, or 1560 Saturdays left in your life. How are you going to spend them? How can you stay aware of the passage of time, the passage of Saturdays?

I decided to buy marbles; one for every Saturday through the year I turn 75. I bought two cool jars. The first I labeled; LIFE - LOVE, PLAY, LEARN, CONTRIBUTE. The second I labeled; LIVED - LOVED, PLAYED, LEARNED, CONTRIBUTED. Each Sunday, starting with the first Sunday in 2019, I will move a marble from LIFE to LIVED.

I am as guilty as the next guy of letting time pass with some my intentions unrealized. A lot of my 3900 Saturdays have passed. Some were great, some not. More importantly, most Saturdays went by without acknowledgement. I was unaware and treated them like an infinite number, not 3900. Thanks Chas. Now they pass marble by marble, with gratitude and intention.

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Jim Brewer