Friday, October 15, 2010

Time

Time is like toilet paper: it's only useful if you use it. And you only have so much of it before it's gone so you better not waste it.

There are a lot of things we take for granted in life. And if it's not #1 on the list, I think "time" is certainly a contender for that spot.

Just think about it. How many people wish for the day they graduate high school or college? Get married? Go on vacation? Have a baby? Get that perfect job? Retire? Or even small stuff like looking forward to getting off work and going to bed?

It's like time is our enemy or something. Anytime someone tells me they can't wait for retirement I always say, "I don't want to be retiring soon; that would mean I'm over 60 years old!!" I mean, there is nothing wrong with being 60, but I'd like to live from ages 29-59 first.

Don't get me wrong, there are certainly moments in life I hope will pass quickly. There are lots of days that I hope for my work day to go by quickly and unfortunately, my job is the perfect concoction for time to crawl by slower than a toddler pulling a U-haul trailer behind his tricycle.

Oh or what about that moment when you are in the check-out line at Target with a gallon of milk in one hand and a loaf of bread in the other and the person in front of you has a shopping cart with $200+  worth of stuff in it? It never fails that they look at you, observe your two items, and then continue to put their stuff on the belt, rather than extend the courtesy of letting you sneak ahead of them with your two things. That is definitely a situation where you hope time flies by.

Anyway, I think we spend way to much of our life wishing it away, looking forward to the next event, thing, or moment. And I think we need to savor each moment.

I am not talking about making sure that at the end of every day you have a few things checked off your TTD list and you donated at least an hour of your time to charity. I'm talking about being able to look back at your day knowing that you were intentional about it. Even if that means you intentionally laid on the couch and watched tv. Even if that means you intentionally avoided all the things you had to do that day because you knew it could wait till tomorrow. And even if it means that you hated every minute of what you had to do but you did it anyway because you knew it had to get done.

And time... I don't think it heals all things. Well, objectively, time heals cuts and scraps and stuff (along with a little natural science hard at work). But the "time heals all things" deal... not so sure that is true. Time just provides you with the opportunity to address or avoid your issues. And I feel like the past few months I've learned to work with time and use it to my advantage. I have some things I'm working through - no, nothing major, just the usual struggles of life and learning how to deal with difficult people and situations. And with this, I am trying to be patient. I am trying to not wish myself to the moment where I feel like I have handle on things (heck, that moment might not ever come). And I'm doing my best to learn from and internalize the little lessons along the way and to see where I made mistakes in the past and handle things differently the next time I encounter similar situations.

Obviously, there are a zillion reasons why we should not waste the time we are given. But I guess the important thing to remember is that time is not reversible or replaceable. What you have is what you get. And unlike that roll of toilet paper, you can't just run out to Costco and buy more, so use it wisely =)

4 comments:

Heather said...

Love it, Jess! I must admit I was giggling over the "time to crawl by slower than a toddler pulling a U-haul trailer behind his tricycle" comment. Great mental picture there! :)

P.S. Abby might want you to add her name to your profile. Wouldn't want her to feel left out. :)

Jess(ica) said...

Oh!!! Good catch!! I just updated it - thanks!!!

PG+E said...

Good post. I like that you point out that it's okay to intentionally watch tv, or intentionally not do things that you need to do. I've been recently thinking about this stuff too - about how I want things to be done and over with, but then I always miss those days I wished away.

mom said...

Im bad. I Haven't been to your site in a while. I think i should re-read this at the start of each day. How did you get to be sooo smart? I know, you don't have to answer that...you're a "Clark."