The Time Machine

Once someone described me as “ruthlessly rational.” I don’t know if that’s a compliment or not, but for today I’m going to consider it complimentary.

 At 82, time is running out. Even if I live to be 100, I will not have as much time in the future as I have had in the past. As a devout nonbeliever, my rational mind refuses to “believe” I will live forever. My rational mind also asks, “Would you want to be Bettejo forever?”

 To which my ruthlessly rational mind says, “Good grief. I’ve loved being Bettejo but to be Bettejo forever? Forget it.” And, to be sassy for a moment, there are many who “believe” they will go to a place where they will live forever, and it is not a place I’d care to live forever. That’s putting it mildly. To put it very unmildly, to spend all eternity with these folks would be hell. A place, fortunately, my rational mind doesn’t think exists.

 So, OK, time is running down. One day I’ll croak, but until I do, I’d like to live happily.

 Manage time as you would manage money.

 It’s fun. It’s fun. Buy a new stenographer’s tablet, a pencil and a sharpener, and date it. It’s not a journal, it’s a journey. Start with today. How do you spend your time? You can spend money unwisely, you can spend time unwisely.

What is it you do? What is it you have to do? Get out of bed is first on my day’s journey. Morning ablutions are second in my book of time. How do you begin the first day of the rest of your life?

 It’s a strictly personal journey. Only you are putting one foot in front of the other.

 What do think you must do that you really don’t have — or like — to do? Scratch it out. I hate to clean house.  My husband taught me, “If it’s clean in the corners, it’s clean.” So I clean the corners first. That works.

 Further, since my eyes are dimming, I do not see the catastrastrokes that exist when I put my glasses on and faint. But know what? I haven’t croaked from cholera, typhoid or paratyphoid because there’s a smudge on a counter so the answer to that conundrum? Don’t put your glasses on. Out of sight, out of mind, my ruthlessly rational mind says. Whatever it is, it’ll be there tomorrow. Maybe bigger and I’ll see it without glasses and then I’ll attack it with a scrubber. Then again, maybe I won’t.

 Please don’t come to my house with white gloves. I won’t — I can’t, without my glasses — go to your house with white gloves.

I’m not telling you how to run your life. I’m asking you to figure it out for yourself.

Remember: every minute you save on things you don’t want or need to do leaves you more time to do the things that keep you happy and healthy.

 Happiness is always healthy.

• Bettejo Dux is a Kehalo resident and author of “The Scam: A madcap romp through North Shore Kauai.”


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