This year, Gateway Bank President James Christensen will be sharing occasional reflections about life, business, and what’s on his mind. Read on for the March edition of Mindful Mondays with James, as he shares why and how he makes the most of each day.

First of all, thank you for the kind responses to my first Mindful Monday. I am pleased the words resonated with some folks. Let’s continue this journey and see where it goes today. I loved Paul Harvey, and while this is not the rest of the story, it is the next chapter.

Mortality seems to be a strange place to go next, but it is where my heart led me this Monday. John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen released the new song “Wasted Days.” It starts out with:

How many summers still remain?

How many days are lost in vain?

Who’s counting out these last remaining years?

How many minutes do we have here?

There is a reason these are two of the greatest artists of all time, and it’s no surprise they are creating incredible music in their 70s. The song really makes you want to be present and make the most of the remaining minutes you have left on this Earth.

When I was struggling the most, I was going through the motions as the days passed. I could put in a hard day’s work and do what I needed to do, but I really did not feel anything. Now, I am beyond grateful for the time I have left, and I’m trying to make the most of it.

A few examples:

  1. It is not unusual for me to come into the bank (especially on Fridays) with my phone pounding out hip hop. I came into the bank a few weeks ago dancing to “Wobble,” and a few of my teammates joined in on the dancing. Not something I would have ever done when I was younger, but talk about enjoying the moment and starting the day off right!
  2. Like many, I am usually tethered to my mobile phone. With the beautiful weather, my wife and I have been sitting on the patio with the dog on the weekends, drinking coffee and just talking about us and life. No phones, music, or TV. Just the birds, us, and unfortunately the occasional golfer unhappy with his or her shot on the course our house overlooks. This has become our absolute favorite time of the week.

    Remember how you sat and talked for hours when you were dating and getting to know each other? How cool that almost 38 years later, we have as much fun talking for hours, dreaming about the future, and solving all of the world’s problems. My girlfriend just keeps getting hotter each year!

I will save a little for the next Mindful Monday. I can’t give you a new tattoo each month, but I’ll continue to share my random thoughts.

I appreciate you taking an interest in my journey. I would love to hear about your journey too, should you decide to share. Everyone has a story, and they are all fascinating and unique.

Not Your Typical Banker,