Time waits for no one
November 24, 2008
How many times have you said, “There are just not enough hours in the day” and then follow that statement with “I can’t wait until its Friday”? So often we hurry through our days wishing for the weekend only to later discover that we wished away a large part of our lives.
We “fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way” the song goes. (Pink Floyd, Time, Dark Side of the Moon). I offer this obscure Pink Floyd reference to reinforce the point that we don’t often make the best use of time (Dark Side of Moon was released in March 1973). We waste time, stall for time, wish for time, kill time, and trade time but how often do we invest time?
When we are young, time is of no consequence. Life seems like an endless journey with no end and no finish line. But as we become more … experienced, we find that time is of the utmost concern and short in supply. How have you invested your time?
Regardless of your age, gender, income level, professional title, religious or political affiliation, caloric intake, or number of live hair follicles, there is nothing either you or I can do to add a single second to our lives (sorry to be the bearer of bad news). No matter what the latest PBS expert espouses about anti-aging, we can’t roll back the clock because we don’t control time. So, the best thing to do if you don’t control something is to make the best of what you can control and that is your use of time (after, of course, you finish vigorously protesting that someday through the miracles of modern science we will figure out a way to add time to our lives).
I want to suggest that the way we use our time is the most important investment we can make. We can choose to blithely waste away the hours waiting for the weekend, or we can immerse ourselves in the here and now. We regret the time we didn’t spend doing this or that and we daydream about what the future might hold, but rarely do we live in this moment being fully focused on what is going on in life, right now.
Imagine, if you will, that we lived a life that was focused in the present moment ” how would life be different? Imagine if we spent a little more time participating in our relationships and investing more time into the lives of others instead of wasting time being distracted by TV, cell phones, text messaging, e-mail, work, etc. We might appreciate the abundant blessings we enjoy as residents of Grand County. We might be attentive to the needs of others. We might remember birthdays and anniversaries. We might even turn off the TV and have a conversation with our children and our spouse.
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At the end of our days the record of how we spent our time will mark the legacy we leave behind. Were we engaged and present in the moment? Or did we waste away the days leaving no lasting memories or impressions? Memories are the product of time spent engaging in life, but this requires us to tune out the distractions of daily life, stop living for tomorrow or regretting yesterday and live in this moment.
I for one try to be home more and travel less, so I can be active and involved in the lives of my teenage children (not sure if they are as excited about that as I am).
Although I’m not perfect, I try to remember birthdays and anniversaries (a challenge for most men). I make time to sit and talk with my wife (no, really). I try to remember people’s names and important events in their lives. I try to take a few minutes to shut down the laptop, turn off the cell phone and take a deep breath of the clean mountain air and give thanks for our many blessings (OK. My wife will tell you I don’t do this enough … but I’m trying).
Because of my travel schedule, I missed a lot of time with my children when they were younger and I missed priceless memories that I can never buy back. So instead of lamenting about what I missed and being angry that I can’t control time, I choose to do things differently in the days that are ahead of me. I can’t change the time that has already past, but I can determine how my time will be invested in this moment.
How will you choose to invest your time in this moment?
Be well, be safe, and be active in the here and now. It’s your time.
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