"" Writer's Wanderings: Time Spent

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Time Spent

In a few weeks it will be my 60th birthday.

At 30 I felt like I had definitely reached adulthood. At 40 I was using L’Oreal (a darker shade than I do now) but I was worth it! At 50 I was looking at a writing career that had some potential. At 60 I’m thinking of my mother who died at 62.

Time is a gift given every second of every day.

We enjoyed a comedienne and singer, Judy Kolba, a few weeks ago on a cruise ship. She ended her performance with a reminder of how precious time is. It’s something we cannot bank for tomorrow or borrow from yesterday. It is here and now in the moment. We are each allotted the same amount of hours, minutes, and seconds each day.

Another comedian, Will Rogers said, “Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”

Time management becomes a hot topic for busy people but it usually means adjusting schedules, time saving applications and devices, or how to do more in less time. To what end? To have more time to be more productive, or to make more money, or sometimes, hopefully to relax. But how can we relax when we continually stress out over how we can save time? And time can’t be saved. It can only be spent.

Today you started with 86,400 seconds. About 28,000 of those will be spent sleeping. That leaves around 58,000 to be spent working, eating, exercising, playing and all the other little odds and ends we don’t even think about. The seconds tick away like the cursor that blinks at you on your computer—waiting for you to do something.

How will you spend those precious seconds today? Some people say they can determine a person’s priorities in life by looking at their checkbook. I would challenge that. While money may be a good indicator of what you consider important in life, I think taking a good look at your PDA, your Blackberry, or, if you’re like me, the old fashioned calendar on the wall will show you where your heart truly lies.

I remember the last time I saw my mother alive and well. Dad had just bought her a new car and she came to the house to show me. I was busy cleaning. We were expecting company that evening. (Don't snicker. When you have 5 small children, you have to clean for company!) I took some time to look the car over and compliment her on her choice but I was rushing and she knew it. She didn’t stay long. She had something to do, she said. How I wish I had spent a few more seconds with her that day--long enough to say, "I love you, Mom."

You can borrow money. You can save it for tomorrow. But the time you have today is only for today. Horace Mann penned this little classified ad: "Lost, yesterday, somewhere between Sunrise and Sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever."

The gift of time. 86,400 seconds today. How will you spend them?

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