Grandpa Martin… and the Rootbeer
    Grandpa Martin and David and I were playing Dominoes at Mamo’s kitchen table, Grandpa had some items in the front of him. After awhile, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar, and proceeded to fill it with marbles (from Uncle Dean’s secret stash.) He then asked me if the jar was full. I said yup, please pass the beans.
    He picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The BB’s rolled into the open areas between the marbles. Then he asked again if the jar was full. David said yup, pass the Crackers please. Next he picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. Again we responded with a unanimous "yes".
    Then he took a bottle of Barq’s rootbeer and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. We laughed. "See, this jar represents your life. The marbles are the important things – your family, children, grandchildren,

  your health, your friends, your favorite passions – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The BBs are the other things that matter, like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else – the small stuff.
If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the BBs or the marbles, the same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
    Pay attention to the things that are critical to your future and happiness. Play horseshoes with your children, make ice cream with your grandkids. Take your wife out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house, or fix the disposal. Take care of the marbles first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
    I asked what the rootbeer represented. Grandpa smiled. " It just goes to show you no mater how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a frosty mug of rootbeer."
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® Copyright 2004 W. Randall Irvine
Last Updated 29 April 2004