What Will You Do With Your Time? A Response to the Jellybean Video

I saw this video multiple times this week in my Facebook feed. It’s about jelly beans, but it’s really about how you live your life. I get so tired of videos that are unimportant or crude, but this one was different. It made me think. It made me smile, and it made me want to go do something fun with my day. So often, I forget the value of one day because there are so many commitments, things that are not getting done, and projects that I haven’t even started on but are crowding my brain space. The beauty of one day is found in moments that are often fleeting, but together these moments create a lifetime of beautiful hours and days.

After seeing the video more than once, I started to really think about it, and one thing came to mind: these days must be man days, or childless adult days. The man on the audio track says we will spend 564 (24 hour) days caring for others in our life. The mom in me kept thinking, “Wow, that can’t be right. That is a really low number.” Now I know that not everyone is a stay at home mom, and not everyone has four children, but I couldn’t help thinking that my number has got to be way higher. Even a mom with one child has to have a higher number; I’m not sure where he got his figures from.

Anyway, for fun, I sat and figured out some calculations for myself because I would hope that I spend more days caring for others than I do watching television programs (he estimates 2000+ days just doing that!). I am not a math geek, but I did enjoy looking at the sheer volume of four children from a statistical perspective. Here are some fun facts:

The average child uses about 6,205 diapers if you can potty train them before they turn four. If it takes you three minutes for each change, you will spend 310 hours or 13 days total just changing diapers. I have four children, so that’s 52 days of my life wiping and wrapping up baby bums if we stop having kids now.

If you count an average of five hours a day nursing your baby through age one, you spend 1,825 hours nursing or 76 days. When I finish nursing Butter, I will have nursed babies for 304 days give or take.

As a homeschooler, you know I had to look at days of schooling as well. If you estimate three hours per day of school every day plus one extra hour for each additional child for 14 years of school, I will homeschool for 1451 days (24 hour days) by the time we are finished.

So, as a homeschooling mom of four, that number is crazy low. But, perhaps since I’m not average, that’s how it works out. I’m blessed to know that I will spend that many of my days caring for others. This doesn’t include prayer time for friends and family, caring for my husband, making and giving gifts to others, listening and talking with friends who need help, serving others in various ways, or visiting and helping out extended family either. I know that Jesus would want that number to be so crazy high for each and every one of us.

John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” So go, boost your number; listen to someone who is hurting, snuggle with your kids a little longer tonight, meet a friend and offer to wash dishes beside her while you chat. I personally can’t think of a better way to spend my jelly beans, err, days.

Note: this post was originally published at my “old home” in November of 2013.

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