Don’t waste your time chasing butterflies


The Latin phrase “tempus fugit” has been on my mind lately.

Maybe it is because we are already looking at 2021 or maybe it is because it seems just yesterday that I was starting my role as mayor of our small town. Either way, time sure does fly.

In 2018, the southeast sanitary sewer interceptor project started construction here in Seymour. Earlier this year, the major construction of the project was completed. Still, in the last few days, we had a meeting related to some follow-up items on the project.

I am sure, depending on where you live in relation to this project, your perception of time was different. From a distance, it seemed to move along quickly. If it was in your front yard, it probably seemed like it took forever.

Recently, I sat down with WorkOne to get an update on labor statistics in the region. They noted a very small uptick in unemployment claims over the last few weeks.

It also was pointed out we are still about 10 times less now than we were earlier this year. Our rebound in the region is strong, and overall, we still seem to be headed in the right direction for the future.

My visit with a department this week was with planning and zoning. We spent some time checking on various requests that will have to be brought before the plan commission and then on to the common council or board of zoning appeals depending on if it is a rezone or a variance.

We looked at new sign requests from area businesses, took a look at a garage request to see if the property owner had enough room to not need a variance and the last thing we checked was an entrance to a new commercial property to see if they would have enough space to safely exit.

I still enjoy my time with the different departments because it gives me a better understanding of how various decisions are reached.

Earlier this year, I had set a timer on my phone to cut my Facebook app out after 60 minutes. As the year went on, I found myself extending the timer and finally just took the timer off completely.

A few weeks ago, I placed that timer back on and am determined to not drift back into my old habits of spending way too much time staring at my phone and forgetting to enjoy the world around me.

Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoy watching people argue on social media as much as the rest of you, but was it worth my time and energy? For that matter, was the argument worth the time and energy of those who were involved?

The late Jim Rohn said, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” For me, this is why I am trying to cut back on my social media usage.

I often spend time after work at meetings or on the phone dealing with city-related items. My family is pretty forgiving when it comes to this, but I feel I am at a point that I need to focus on not scrolling aimlessly through my phone.

One day this week, I looked down at the end of the day and had only used nine minutes of my set 60. I share this with you not for a hardy atta boy, but to help you understand why I may not respond when you tag me in a post.

If you want to make sure I hear from you, please drop me an email at [email protected] or give me a call at 812-522-4020. With either of these methods, you know I will get the information.

I leave you today with a quote from Brazilian author Mario Quintana: “Don’t waste your time chasing butterflies. Mend your garden, and the butterflies will come.”

Matt Nicholson is the mayor of Seymour. Send comments to [email protected].

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