What? (that’s what you are probably thinking about the title of this post, right?)

A few years ago during one of our family vacations, I read french author Marc Levy‘s first critically acclaimed novel, Et si c’était vrai… Toward the end of the book, there is a dialog between the two main characters about an interesting riddle.

If a bank suddenly approached you and decided to open an account specifically for you in which 86 400 $ would be deposited every day, for you to spend in any way you wish, with no strings attached, what would you do with it?

Hold on before you answer. If you don’t spend all that money in a day, it is lost. Nope, there is no carryover to the next day. The next day you will start with 86 400 $ again. Are you thinking: Wow, this is still very cool! I want it!

Here’s the “catch”: the bank may decide, at any moment, without any warning, to end this peculiar ‘arrangement’ !

86 400 $. Change the $ sign for ‘seconds’. Hmm. This riddle is starting to make more sense.

Everyday, life gives us 86 400 seconds to spend in any way we see fit. At the end of each day, the time we haven’t spent wisely doing the things that matter simply vanishes. The cycle continues everyday… until the “bank” decides to put an end to the “deal”.

I love writing. A lot. My head is full of ideas for stories I’d love to write. But in a typical day, a good chunk of the 86 400 seconds are spent doing other important things. Whatever remains, I can choose to do whatever I want with it. There are some days when it’s only 3 600 seconds. Some days it’s a little more. Some days it’s less. The biggest challenge I face is always to decide what to do with those remaining seconds. Writing? or Reading? Because I love doing both!

Marc Levy‘s novel Et si c’était vrai… was adapted to the big screen in 2005: Just Like Heaven, starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo.