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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Taking on Time 10/25 - 10/31 Days 298 - 304

A few quick updates before I get to the blog.  I hope everyone is planing on participating in the full moon project on 11-11-2011 at 11:11pm.  If you do not know what this is check out the link here: 11-11-2011 Full Moon Project :) and please invite your friends!  Lets get the entire world involved! :)

On the subject of the entire world getting involved.  Sunrise/Sunset challenge is going amazing.  Got lots of cool pictures from Asia this week including a few from the Middle East.  An extra big thank you to all of you who are getting your friends involved.  And an even bigger thank you to everyone who is taking the time to check the list before posting and who is labeling the pictures so well.  I cannot tell you how much time it saves me, which is strangely the topic of this blog :)  Check out sunrise/sunset here and be sure to look at all the albums on the 1000 Challenge page.  Sunrise/Sunset List

Last week there was a petition going around to try and get the 1 Year 1000 Challenge on the Ellen DeGeneres show - I cannot tell you all how much it means to me that so many of you think so highly of the 1000 Challenge that you would take the time to try and get it on Ellen.  Thank You!  I have an interview coming out in one of the local papers sometime this week, which I will post online as soon as it is available.  All your support and your dedication to changing your own live's inspires me and gives me energy every day - thank you so much everyone.

On to the blog...

Typing the title in I just realized that we have moved into the 300's for number of days that have passed so far this year... YIKES!!

I remember starting the 1000 Challenge typing in the numbers 1, 5, 15, and so on... 300 seemed so far away and yet here we are.  My does time fly...  In fact I had a brief conversation with someone at the gym this morning about time:  It moves so fast when you are engaged in the process of living life and it seems to crawl when you are in a "funk" and struggling to make it through the days.

I have been having quite a few conversations the last few weeks with different people about the 1000 Challenge.  Common questions are: "What's next," "What are you going to do when it is over," "Are you going to miss it," and the big one, "How has this changed you?"

Saturday I was driving down to Orange County which is about 165miles south from Santa Barbara.  Without traffic it is around a 2.5 hour drive to the part I was going.  With traffic it is a crap shoot.  It took me nearly 3 hours to get to the 405/101 interchange, one of the busiest freeway interchange's in the entire world.  Without traffic I can make it there in about 1 hour 15 minutes.  I looked at my handy Google Maps map and it showed that I had nothing but traffic ahead of me for the next 70 miles which means I had probably about another 4 hours of driving ahead of me.  I hate traffic!

I typically do not use the word "Hate" that often, but traffic is one of those times I use it.  I get frustrated every time I find myself sitting in traffic as I feel it is such a waste of my life.  I get squirmy, I get upset, I get agitated because I am going absolutely nowhere.  Not only that, but I know how long the trip "could" take and how long it is taking.  I hate when the "is" and the "could" do not match up.  So to pass the time I think of things like: If I were to sit in traffic for 1 hour every day for the next 60 years, that would mean over the next 60 years I would spend 21,900 hours in traffic.  That equals over 912 days which equals approximately 2.5 years of my life!!!  TWO AND A HALF YEARS OF MY LIFE SPENT STARING AT THE BACK OF SOMEONES BRAKE-LIGHTS AND LICENSE PLATE.... NO THANK YOU!!!!  I DO NOT HAVE THE TIME FOR THAT!!!

After I got myself worked up into a nice little tizzy about my rapidly fading life, I calmly excited the freeway, turned around, and began heading back toward Santa Barbara.  In the past, I would have begrudgingly continued to plod along until I made it to my destination.  All the while resenting the drive and the reason going.  Turning around provided such a different experience.  I had zero traffic going North, I was able to stop at a historical park and take some pictures of ducks; and I made it to a friends house to watch the sunset on the beach - ahhh a much happier way to end the day.

Yesterday, Sunday, I went to watch this silent movie, Nosferatu, a silent film made in 1921 and one of the oldest horror movies.  What was really cool about this experience was that the venue the film was shown at had an organ so that the film could be watched to the accompaniment of live music.  Sounds really cool right? And it was, but ...

I rarely watch movies, and I never watch TV.  It's hard for me to sit still and I am in this space right now where I am so stoked about living, that the last thing I want to do is take a break from my reality and watch someone else's reality, fact or fiction.  I really dislike TV as even a background noise when friends are around as I feel it provides a distraction to the conversation and laughs that could be had.  However, it was Halloween weekend, and this was a pretty cool opportunity to see a historically significant film the way it would have been seen nearly 100 years ago.  1000 Challenge is about new experiences right, doing things I normally wouldn't do at times... so to the movie I went.

I sat through a 20 minute "Laurel and Hardey" silent that was also accompanied by the Organ music.  By the time Nosferatu started, I was already starting to squirm in my chair.  As the movie went on I became more and more impatient.  My excitement rapidly began to fade.  The "coolness" of the organ quickly became an annoyance with what seemed like the same music over and over again.  I thought it would be dramatic and add suspense, but instead, at least it seemed to me, to just make the movie corny.  

In the past, like in traffic, normally I would suck it up and see something I started to the end, never wanting to be a "quitter."  As I sat there, forcing myself to watch this movie that I was clearly not into, I started thinking about this picture my friend had sent me at the beginning of the year (see below).  And how the picture was so powerful as it signified time and just how little of it we have in this life.  Then I started thinking about all the questions people have been asking me, especially the "How has this changed you," question.

I have learned to value my time in a way I have never valued it before.  I have also learned that I love the way I am living my life.  Pack as much in, in as little time as possible.  Find fun where it used to elude me, stop sweating the small stuff, and soak up every moment, go, go, go, GOGOGOGOGO and then rest when needed.  I really love it as I feel I am not squandering any precious seconds of life away.  

Placing a higher value on my time, does not mean I waste what precious time I have on avoidable things like traffic and movies that I do not like.  No longer will I just suck it up and stick with it because I do not want to "quit."  "C'mon Jesse, how stupid is that.  If you stay through the movie, if you sit in the traffic, yea, you may see it through, but you are quitting on the free time you could have."

With those thoughts, I calmly stood up and rapidly walked out of the theater.  And just as I did with the traffic the night before, I immediately felt a sense of relief, a sense of freedom, like I was back in the driver's seat of my life.  No longer did any external forces have control of it as they did in the traffic and movie situations.

While these are small examples, and some of you may be thinking, "Come on now Challenge Boy, it is JUST a movie, and Everyone has to sit in traffic from time to time."  Yes you are all right, but for me when I have the power to exercise choices in certain situations, when my well being, my happiness is enhanced by choosing option 2 rather than sticking with option 1, from now on I am choosing option 2.  

I do not want to spend years of my life sitting in traffic when I do not have to.  I do not want to spend my life sitting through movies that do not excite me.  Who cares if I payed for it, what is the value of my time lost?  How much is that hour worth that I can NEVER get back????

There are many things I have learned this year from the 1000 Challenge.  Nothing is more precious than our time.  We only have a limited amount of it and every second we spend sitting around complaining, moaning, and groaning about our life; is one second that we will never get back.  Every minute we spend sitting around, wasting because we choose sadness instead of happiness is one minute we will never get to live again.  

Now I know things happen in life where we will experience sadness, low energy, etc.. that is part of being a human and that is also part of living.  There is a difference between the sadness that comes from morning a loss like a death or an ended relationship, vs. the sadness of sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself.  

Experiencing loss and the emotions that come with it... that is living.  Avoiding it, that is not.  

The clock is ticking.  The year that once seemed like it was going to go on forever for me is rapidly winding down.  Time is not slowing down for us.  I do not want to live my life "playing catch up," or sitting around moaning and groaning about the time I have lost.  Nope, been there, done that, have zero desire to ever do it again.  

Time is moving guys.  You can either move with it, or spend your life chasing after it, it is your choice.

Tic Toc, Tic Toc, TIC TOC

Enjoy the pictures,

Carpe Diem,




  1. yay you got the wristbands done up :)

    im with you there on the time thing. i hate my time wasted. but one thing i do know is if u are doing nothing but enjoying that moment, than time is not wasted... :)

    ooh and i love ur little sun between the fingers perspective photo.


    bring on the 11/11/11 for the moon challenge too! :)

  2. Another great post and thought process, truly enjoyed it! Pictures were fantastic, those California sunsets are a sight to behold! Peace to you this day and may the wind stay at your back!

  3. I've already wasted years of my life sitting in traffic, and late trains going to work everyday. If I need to work, there's nothing I could have
    done about it. Living in NYC, is just that. Sorry, you don't like movies, it's my favorite thing to do, good movies of course, but that's a matter of opinion. If I didn't like movies I never would have known about you on the internet. I wouldn't be on Twitter or Facebook, politics got me to join Facebook and movies and personalities got me to join Twitter. I enjoy reading your social network site FB and your tweets, so I continue. I don't take photos much, I just like looking at them, so I will be looking forward to seeing the photos for 11/11/11, veterans day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.