"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst." - William Penn

I feel like that quote sums up the reasoning behind my thought process this past year. I know psychologically speaking the development of a bucket list and an increased focus on the future has a great deal to do with the fact that I will turn 30 next summer- but why now?

Because at this age you start feel like you may not have enough time to accomplish everything that you want; you start to worry that you have wasted too much time already- and start to re-evaluate your priorities and take a good look at the person that you have become.

When this happened for me I realized that I had spent the last 28 years focusing solely on becoming successful for myself and for my family; having a degree, getting a good job, buying a house, and lets be honest here- having more money. I was really disappointed in myself at this point.

I had overcome many obstacles to achieve the things that I had (though it may not be a lot) at this point and I wanted to be proud of myself, but in the grand scheme of things what was I REALLY doing? Was this my big plan for my life? Was I really going to find success on this path?

I realized quickly that I didn't know what I really wanted at all, I didn't have a real plan because even if I achieved everything I thought I wanted I still wouldn't feel like a success. Besides the fact that there are so many more important things in life than a successful career and money- I had realized that I was being really selfish.

I mean, how many people in the world are starving to death? My family never goes hungry, even in the worst of times. Yet I was so ungrateful for the blessings that I had in my life that I actually allowed myself to have a pity party from time to time. I was so caught up in me that I ignored the rest of the world.

So I began taking steps to remedy that. What I learned in my research really opened my eyes. For example, did you know at this very moment there have been 26,530 people that have died of hunger just today? And that number increases by one about every second. It really put things in to perspective.

Not to mention the state of our environment from the damage we have done to our planet. We are, as a whole, a selfish and destructive species- but we don't have to be. I admit I was overwhelmed at first; there are so many issues in the world, so many problems I would like to help with- but I am only one person and I don't have money to give, so how could I really help?

Whether an idea planted by society or a conclusion that I had come to myself- I had come to believe that I could not make a difference, that it was naive to even try. Now, right or wrong, I feel like the important thing is to try. I have been helped by others in my time of need and I need to pay it forward. I need to use the time I have to do something that matters to me and to the people I share this world with.