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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Making the Most of Your Free Time

“Live life to the fullest.” 
- Ernest Hemingway­
Over the years, I’ve drawn inspiration from that quote, always keeping those words in the back of my mind.  I’ve used it as motivation to learn to sail, drive cross-country and even visit Australia.  They are the words I’ve lived my life by, as simple as they may seem.
Now that my children have their own families and I’ve retired, I find that that saying still has meaning in my life – though in a new way.  It used to be about using my free time wisely, and finding the biggest and best adventure to experience.  Now it’s about savoring the little moments, and appreciating what my life has given me. 
Fall is probably my favorite time of year to put that wisdom to use.  My flexible schedule means that no matter what activities my family has going on –sports, school or work – I can always find a way to spend time with them. 
I make a point to take my grandchildren apple picking and on hayrides; to can the last summer veggies with my daughter; and to take fall foliage drives with my son and his family.  We live life to the fullest by appreciating the beauty of our world and the joy of being together.
I used to think that living life to the fullest meant traveling far and spending money to find the most exciting experience I could.  Now I know – it’s about the sound of crunchy fall leaves, and the smell of fresh tomatoes.  Living life to the fullest is about valuing what you have, no matter how simple or how small.
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