I enjoy Saturday morning. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to be up and writing, or maybe it’s the fun of knowing the kids are around all day. Either way, I really enjoy the first few hours of a Saturday morning, especially in the summer when the warmth of the sun shines on my back as I walk down to my office to write my blog with a mug of good old fashioned strong English breakfast tea in my hand.

What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.

Let me tell you about it:

I love opening my regular newsletters as I look forward to their uplifting and motivating messages each week and I savour the moment quietly alone down here in my office with my tea.

This morning I started to read my Simple Truths newsletter and it really captured my imagination as it talked about the “thousand marbles” story.

An elderly man was talking on the radio and was reflecting on his life and his Saturday mornings, and he did a little arithmetic.

He calculated that the average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some people live more and some live less, but on average, people live about seventy-five years.

Then, he multiplied 75 times 52 and he came up with 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.

Then he got to the most poignant part.

It took him until he was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail, and by that time he had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.

It got him thinking that if he lived to be seventy-five, he only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.

So he went to a toy shop and bought every single marble they had and he ended up having to visit three toy shops to collect a 1,000 marbles. He took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container where he could see them very clearly.

Every Saturday since then, he has taken one marble out and thrown it away and he found that by watching the marbles diminish, he focused more on the really important things in life.

There’s nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight!

Then he noticed that one Saturday morning, he took the very last marble out of the container.

He pondered and reflected that if he made it until the next Saturday then he had been given a little extra time.

What struck me was that one thing we can all use is a little more time.

• So today as you go about your busy, probably hectic weekend, what would it take for you to go out and buy yourself a few marbles to help you focus on your own unique priorities?

• What would it give you, your family and your children?

• What impact would it have on your health, stress levels and sense of humour?

What I love about stories is that they can speak to our soul.

This is only one of the many great stories in“Charging the Human Battery…50 Ways to Motivate Yourself” By Mac Anderson

Sometimes, our greatest challenge is to press our pause button so we can actually STOP, step back, and ponder the wood for the tress and make some small changes that will make a BIG difference in our lives over time with a new sense of purpose and direction.

What are you going to do with the rest of your Saturday mornings?

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About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

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Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
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