Recently I shared a post on Facebook which asked the question…
Red pill takes you back to being 10 years old knowing what you know now.
Blue pill adds five years to your current age but you get $50m in return.
Which pill do you take?”
I naively assumed that this would prompt all my friends to quickly remind themselves that money cannot replace time and that they would take the red pill. I was shocked by the results. Only 9 chose red (including myself) and wanted to rewind the clock with 15 opting for blue and the spoils of wealth. I somehow felt disappointed that not everyone would want the chance to be a child again, to live through the experience of growing up and especially with the knowledge to make more mature choices along the way. To be honest I’d have chosen to be 10 again even without the knowledge…no hesitation.
H often says she can’t wait to be 7…or 10. As a child life is about aspiring to have something or do things which have restrictions set against them…like fairground rides or kids club activities. You always seem to need to be taller or older. Or both. Without fail I always pull her up when she says this and tell her she will be 7 soon enough but she has lots of time to enjoy being 5 first. If she’s being a smarty pants she reminds me that she will “actually” be 6 after 5, but I think she understands the point.
As a mum it’s really important to me that H has a good childhood. I guess my goal would be that she also chooses the red pill when she reaches my age. Memories of playing in the sunshine, being bounced out of the seat on the see-saw, fooling around with a plastic mascot outside Mothercare, having a dolls picnic on the upstairs landing, helping to make lasagne for tea. Just simple things we did today but moments that I hope she will remember and cherish in later life.
Yes I want her to know the value of money…but the value of time, memories and the joy in waking each day and enjoying each hour, each challenge….to appreciate these things is to live your life to the full and I think is essential if you’re to have any chance of real contentment and happiness.
Myself…I never say “I wish it were Friday” or Xmas or my holiday was here. Of course you’ll hear me saying that I am looking forward to my holiday but I often add “but I’ll not wish away the time between now and then”. Because time is precious. Life is fragile. Many people won’t get the chance to experience the days or weeks we wish away, let alone appreciate them.
And unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that you or I will ever get the chance to take a magic pill to wind back the clock but what we can do is use the knowledge we have to make sure our children and our loved ones know the value of time and the simple things in life. The days you live and the memories you make are worth more than any money could ever buy. Look up from the lure of money and see what a gift you have been given already….if you look hard enough you’ll surely find happiness without the need for a magic pill.