Laura Veldhof

Author Maylee Levandoski, playing for the West Ottawa panthers at a home game

Maylee Levandoski

   On October 7, I was in the car on my way back home from my game against Portage. The game ended at 9:00 pm and started at 7:00 pm. It’s an hour drive, and I had left my house around 5:00 pm. I had homework for AP English Language, AP Human Geography, and Algebra 2. 

  I got home and felt overwhelmed. I breathed deeply and thought “1440.” The one thing everyone has in common: How many minutes are in a day: 1440. Everyone spends their time differently but has the same amount of time. Knowing this number will increase your productivity and help you waste less time. 

  I realized by sitting there just stressing about my homework and worrying about the little time I had, I was wasting those precious minutes. I got to work on my assignments right away. 11:40 pm read the clock when I finished. To get all that homework done in an hour, I was impressed. 

   If I hadn’t thought of 1440 at that moment, I would have waited to do the homework at midnight and got less sleep or I would have done it the next day. Giving myself that reminder of 1440 helped me to stop wasting my time and just get it done. 

    My dad introduced me to the concept of 1440. And now I own it. While I learned it through my dad’s teaching, he learned it through hard life experiences. My dad was brought into this world by his 15-year-old mother who found herself surrounded with the wrong type of friends and no family support. 

   His mother was kicked out of the house at 15 with no money, little education, no job, no place to live; the father of her child was abusive and had substance abuse issues. Without getting into specific details, the next 15 years he lived in cars, hotels with numerous grandparents, Aunts, Uncles. And sometimes even friends houses with no parental guidance 

   “I had every opportunity to question why this was happening to me and place blame unto this world that seemed so unfair to deal me the hand that I was dealt.” Instead of letting those negatives get the better part of him, he used those negatives to fuel his soul. 1440. “The adversity throughout my life taught me how to adjust, make friends easily, become independent, and most importantly come to the conclusion that at 17 years old I was in control of my life.” 

   A lot of my friends’ dads spend their Sundays reclined on the couch watching the NFL games; I have never seen my dad sit on the couch for longer than an hour. He’s consistently doing something or watching one of his four children in sports. He values every minute he has, and this is what he wants to spend his time doing.

   Personally, “1440” plays a specific role in my life. There is not a single TV show I watch continually. Stranger things, never seen it. Greys anatomy, watched one episode. The office, watched two seasons.

   This mindset is all about taking complete responsibility for our decisions. Is this the life I dreamed of? If it’s not, how can I start living the life I deserve? 1440. 

   Everyone’s 1440 is different; it’s how you spend your time. I will never pass judgment on the way others spend their 1440. You make time for the things that are most important in your lives so do what you want.

   Something great about inspirational quotes and words of wisdom is that they impact people differently. It’s direct, you feel it, you use it, and you live by it. 1440 means the same thing, but how people apply it will be different, what they value will be different 

   This is only a cliche for the ones that don’t take it to heart. The positive impact of him just talking about 1440 has impacted so many people I lost count.

   “You only live once but if you live it well enough, once is good enough.” 1440.