Posted by: 1of10boyz | May 4, 2014

Life happens – Time Goes BY


I remember as a kid time seemed to move so slow, school would seem to take forever. Even the days of summer seemed to be longer and I filled them with activities outside and on the waters of Western Wyoming. Now my days seem short and the time filled with tasks that aren’t nearly as enjoyable. I realize that it is still the same 24 hour period but time seems to move much faster and my life seems to move more quickly. I don’t know why that is. I am told that when I get to be old (what does that really mean anyway, 50 seemed ancient not so many years ago) that time slows down again. I look forward to those days so that I can fill them with activities that provide meaning to me and that hopefully make me happy.

It is odd that the perception of time at the different ages of life seems to vary and change. One of the things that I have come to appreciate is that I actually have time. Before George became by full-time friend I felt invincible; I feared nothing and time was something I never really thought about. Now following the surgery and the past 10 years of living with George, there is always that nagging thought in the back of my mind that tells me that I never know when it is going to be “my time”. Sadly, I haven’t spared my family from that attitude and I am sure that it has had its effects on them.

Sure I can say that this is George’s fault but it wouldn’t really be completely true as part of that is likely from the experiences of losing my Mother when I was barely a teenager. One night I went to bed and the world was right, the next morning, a mere 9 hours, and it was changed forever. That experience and dealing with a brain tumor have obviously changed me and how I deal with things particularly death. I am certain that it affects me in more ways than I will understand in this lifetime. “My Time” could be just as quick and my monkey, George, is always there to remind me of that.

I am not a pessimist so it is really unusual for me to think “dark” about nearly any subject even with these experiences that are mine. I do know and accept that I will die, that is not big news, and even my tiny little intellect can recognize that mortality implies that I will die. I don’t really think about it but I do know it is going to happen. Life happens and my only hope is that its end, in my death, is sometime far into my future.

In the past 10 years I have realized some things about time, IT HAPPENS. Time will march on, minute by minute, second by second, no matter whether I worry about things or if I celebrate things. It does me and no one else any good to stress about it. I can’t stop time, I can’t slow it down, and I can’t speed it up. It is a constant that occurs regardless of what I do and how I use it.

Time is a commodity. It can be invested or it can be used on frivolous matters, but it can’t be saved or stored. I can’t trade a minute now for a minute later.

I can use minutes from the future by doing things now that will affect the future. I can do things that will shorten my life in some cases dramatically; those events or incidents are medical truths. But I really haven’t used those minutes now, I have just subtracted them from the total; that is truly wasted time.

I know it is a cliché but the old people’s number one regret is working too much. I have lots of other things that I wish I had spent time on and even at 50 I know I have spent too much time on work. I know that I trade my time for “stuff”. Some stuff is good to have, I like some of it but when I look at what it cost me, time. I am not so sure that I got a good return for the investment. My experiences here in China are worth the investment because of how I feel I am impacting others’ lives even though it is at the expense of my interactions with my own family. It is a trade-off between better and best uses of my time.

That is the thing about time; it is all I really have that is mine. Everything else that I have is a direct effect of how my time was spent. I have learned from my past 10 years that I should have invested some of that time differently and wished that I would have invested it differently. I have learned something about myself in this process of dealing with George. I have learned to value myself. I read the following quote the other day:

Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.
M. Scott Peck

The real problem with learning something like this is that there are still consequences of or from previous decisions. Some of my time investments now are still consequences of investments made years ago. I don’t regret any of those investments that I made with my family. I remember those experiences and things that we did together. Those are the good investments. I certainly regret some of the other investments of time that I have made in my life.

What I find is that the investments of time that I made and have no real memory of them, those are the investments that are the ones I regret. You might wonder how I can regret something that I don’t remember. With time, that is its measure, do you remember how you used it? In my opinion if you don’t remember it then it likely wasn’t invested very well.

You see, whether you do something or not, if it doesn’t create a memory it is lost and in fact wasted. I know that time spent doing things with my family was time spent well because I remember those times. There certainly aren’t too many of those experiences, but there are regrets that there are not more of them. I know that time spent in service to others is time that is spent well. I remember those uses of my time.

Don’t you think it is more than coincidence that we speak of time and its use the same way that we speak of money?

Time is going to pass regardless of what we do with it as seems to be the case with the money that I have earned. Time can be used to create memories that will last through eternity. My recommendation: Use time to accomplish things that matter to you. What matters to you may not matter to others so you can’t judge your use of time by how others may measure theirs. The challenge is realizing that how to measure our successful use of time is as unique as each of us. Determine what will make you happy and then fill your time with as many of those experiences as you can.

When my time runs out and my life is over I can only hope that there will be those who will reflect back on the time that I invested in them, with them, and for them and feel that they are better because of how I spent my time. That will be proof enough for me that it was a great use of my time.

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The Simplest Answers

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Responses

  1. Loved this:

    “Time is a commodity. It can be invested or it can be used on frivolous matters, but it can’t be saved or stored. I can’t trade a minute now for a minute later.”

    • Thanks for reading.
      The challenge with time is knowing what to spend it on. What is invested time to one person may be frivolous to another. One size does not fit all even though that minute is no longer or shorter for either person.


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