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How Do I Know When It's Time?

by Anthony J. Ogorek Ed.D., CFP™

Time is our allotment on Earth. Everyone has time, but none of us knows how much time we have left. In that way time is a weird commodity. We have a variety of tools and celebrations to measure its passing from clocks and watches to seasonal celebrations and birthdays. There are courses we can take in time management, helping us to more efficiently use the time we have in the present.

These are all fine and good, but we do not receive much guidance about when it is time to make transitions in our lives. Most people fight change and no doubt, transitions entail change. For the young it may be wondering when it is time to remove the training wheels from their two wheeler, and for older folks, when to give up their driver’s license.

The complicating factor in all of this is that none of us knows how much time we have left on Earth. This is not a pleasant thought for many of us, particularly since we do not know with any certainty what comes “next.” Our inclination, understandably, is to assume that we always have more time to accomplish our goals. Now this thinking does not just affect us, but the people around us. How often have we had the best of intentions to call or visit someone, only to learn that they had suddenly passed? How about the trips that we intended to take but are now out of the question due to physical limitations on the part of ourselves or our partners or friends?

What we are talking about here is not regrets, but opportunities. It can be a mistake to think that life will accommodate our timetable. It can on occasion, but is certainly not something to count on. It seems to me that if you are thinking about something, it is probably time. Time to give a friend a call or text, time to consider other job opportunities, time to move, or just time to explore other interests or a new social circle.

There is no right answer for when it is time. The best way to answer that question is to have a frank discussion with you. If all you have is a one year allotment of time, how would you want to spend it, and with whom? Think about that. Think about it deeply. It may help to unlock the answer to your question, “when is it time… for you?”