Find Your Fulfillment
By Emil Rem
It was an ordinary Sunday. Or at least it started that way. As an accountant with a looming deadline for a financial statement and twenty personal tax returns to complete, my day was meticulously planned out. I woke at the crack of dawn, filled with determination to tackle the tasks that lay ahead and be ahead of schedule.
However, life, as it often does, had a different plan. My wife, waking at a more leisurely 9am, had a simple request. “Hon, can you drive me to Saskatoon Farm? I have some muffins to pick up.” I let out a sigh, masked my growing panic at the thought of rescheduling my work, and agreed to her request.
Then came a detour for breakfast at Phil’s. And a spontaneous trip to the annual Lilac Festival that was taking place on our street. And just as I thought I could return to my work, my son woke up late and needed a ride to the campus of Mount Royal University where he’s a student. …Time, it seemed, was slipping away.
About to scream ”stop wasting my time,” I paused. Suddenly, I was transported back to my younger days, bombarded with the echoes of my mother’s disapproving voice. “You failed your high school exams. You failed every accounting exam you’ve taken. You’re such a loser. Stop wasting time.”
Despite thirty years of physical separation, it felt as though my mum was standing right in front of me, her voice laced with fiery rebuke. That day, amidst unexpected detours and incessant interruptions, I was reminded that what has come to be known as “wasting time” is, in fact, an invaluable gift—one that we should all embrace routinely—even when it seems inopportune. When we “waste time,” we:
Connect with the People Around Us – Whether it’s a spontaneous breakfast with our partner or a drive across town with our child, these are the moments that deepen our relationships. When we set aside our immediate tasks and engage fully with our loved ones, we create memories that often prove to be more valuable than any material possession or accomplishment. Time spent with loved ones is never wasted.
Live in the Moment – In the hustle and bustle of life, we often become slaves to our schedules, losing sight of the present moment. But when we allow ourselves to “waste time,” we live in the moment, noticing our surroundings, savoring our experiences, appreciating simple pleasures.
Invest in Self-Care – Constantly chasing deadlines can lead to burnout and stress. By seemingly “wasting time,” we give ourselves permission to slow down and relax, which is crucial for buffering the demands of daily life and maintaining our mental and physical well-being.
Foster Creativity – Great ideas often emerge when our minds are allowed to wander. By stepping away from our immediate tasks and giving ourselves the freedom to simply think or daydream, we can unlock our creative potential.
Gain Perspective – Time spent away from our work allows us to reflect on our lives from a broader perspective. We can reassess our priorities, redefine our goals, and gain valuable insights into what truly matters to us.
As I sat back down at my desk later that day, I felt a profound sense of fulfillment. I was grateful for the reminder that the value of my day should not solely depend on the number of financial statements I prepare or tax returns I complete. It’s also about the laughter, shared moments and memories I create with my loved ones.
Emil Rem is an accountant and author. For more information go to emilrem.ca