Time has an interesting way of creeping up on all of us. The saying, “There is never enough time”, or “If I only had more time”, or, “Where has the time gone”. Have you ever said or heard these very common phrases spoken? Why do you think we collectively commiserate over not having enough time? To me, time is one of our most precious commodities, yet why do we sometimes frivolously waste it away by ignoring our loved ones, or rushing about by trying to cram too many unnecessary activities into one day?
I was forced to wake up to the harsh reality of time creeping up on me, as I listened to a 20-something year old tell me about the deals that they had for seniors on a particular day I was shopping at my local drug store. I started to giggle as I said to her, “Well, I am not a senior, so I guess these deals do not apply to me”. Of which she replied, “Oh you don’t have to be a senior citizen, you just have to be 55 or over”. I could feel my face turning scarlet red, as I less emphatically relayed to her that I was not 55. Yet my thoughts quickly reminded me that I am closer to 55 than I chose to admit. It was at that very moment that a harsh reality sunk in, I am looking older. I had to honestly admit that I was not making time one of my friends. I was not nurturing the precious resource of time and treasuring it, like I would a friend. Time had become my foe. I recognized that I am currently not taking the time to eat properly, to work out as much as what I should be, and I am definitely not getting enough sleep. But in the next breath, I needed to admit that I own the responsibility of not forming habits by taking the time required to take care of myself properly. I only have myself to blame, no one else.
Shortly after the drug store experience, on Easter weekend as we vacationed with friends of ours in Banff, Alberta, Canada, I was once again reminded of time slipping away, as I tried desperately to grasp it like sifting sand running through my fingers. As you can see by the picture below, I am walking and talking with Sara and her friend Adrian across a bridge in Banff. We are carrying groceries and laughing like no time has passed at all. Yet, in my heart of hearts, this vacation is reminding me that time is quickly passing us by.
Sara and Adrian, who are now both 14 years old (almost 15), have been friends since they have been 18 months of age, as they met while attending the same Montessori pre-school. At the time, Pino and I immediately hit it off with Adrian’s parents, Jimena and Shawn and we have been friends ever since. The great thing about getting together with this family is the laughter never stops! It is very healing and rejuvenating. Yet if I am honest, the times that we have spent with each other over the years has become less and less frequent due to the fact that life is just so busy. I began to ask myself, “What is the answer?” “Why are we all seeming so busy, and there seems to be no time?”
In a fleeting moment, I wanted to quickly scoop up both kids and place them into a time machine that would permanently turn back the hands of time. Yet, deep down I knew that this was not the answer I was looking for. As a parent of Sara I am in such awe of the beautiful person she is turning out to be, with her incredible steadfast and kind character. I am also so proud of her accomplishments both in the past and the present. I also can’t wait to see what the future will hold for her. As the hands of time go ‘tic toc, tic toc’, I know that the maturation that is occurring with Sara is normal, “Yet how can I slow down enough to appreciate these moments that are slipping away like sands through an hour glass?” “What can I do as a parent to savour these moments and to build upon them, so that in twenty years from now I won’t look back with regret?”
As all of this was unfolding, I received a text message from another dear friend of mine, Alan. It was as if Alan was reading my mind, although he was many miles away! He sent me a You Tube link to a powerful song by Dean Brody, which emphasizes time, and that we all think we have so much of it, yet there is never enough of it. I encourage you to listen to the words, and I hope the song speaks to you about the preciousness of time.
The absolute truth is there are 1440 minutes per day and 10, 080 minutes per week. As yourself, “How are you taking the time to build the relationships with the people who have been entrusted to you here upon this earth?” If time is the most precious commodity and our children are our most precious resource, how can you begin to unite and make a concerted effort to re-marry the two most precious resources that are currently separating from each other at a rapid pace – time and our children (family)?
I want to encourage you to take one step at a time. Take the time today to set out a plan to spend more quality time with your family – your partner/significant other and with your children. If you neglect to take the time, time will pass you by, that is a definite. It takes 21 days to form a habit, start today and give it your best effort. What do you have to lose? Only time will tell.