As I strolled in to work today, I was reminded of how valuable time is. The beautiful, vibrant pink petals of the magnolia tree on my walk from the parking lot now lie on the ground scattered like ashes in the grass. Just last Friday, they stood like proud trumpets blasting their glory against the spring sky in full color. The daffodils that line the drive from the gatehouse now shrivel, shying away from the sun, dull and crunchy looking.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty in bloom to see, and there is still a vibrant rainbow of color quilting the landscape. However, for some flowers, the time to bloom is gone.
Time is the one thing that all humans have the same amount of, in the same precious limited supply. When I was child, I used to complain to my dad sometimes that I didn’t have enough time to get things done. I really think he relished being able to use his carefully rehearsed reply, “Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. What matters is how you use them.” In retrospect, of course, he was right.
As a kid, I don’t know if I fully realized the value of time. Maybe it was because as a kid, I didn’t fully realize how limited it was, and how much I had the potential to accomplish with my time. Now, as an adult with many things that I am passionate about, and many things that I am determined to accomplish in my lifetime, I feel the breath of Father Time breathing down my neck.
Sometimes it feels like there is not enough time, and never will be. Then, I remember the importance of time management. Sometimes I manage my time by double tasking, even though on principle I am not a fan of it. Double tasking is really just a way of doing two things half as well as you can, but in a pinch, it does work. Sometimes I will watch TV with my mom while writing, as a way to enjoy her company and also build our relationship, while making sure that I get words to paper at some point during the day. I always go back and edit to make sure things look good!
I also try to avoid periods of time where I am not working towards my goals in some way, shape or form. Now, occasionally that makes me a neurotic nutcase, which is why I try to build some time into every day that fuels my spirit or gives me some kind of rest or recharge.
Time is so precious on an individual level, which is why if you are as crazy goal oriented as I am, I highly recommend keeping an eye on how you manage your time.
The greatest gift you can give to a person or a cause is your time ,because it is so finite. I also recommend paying attention to what you are giving your time to, and who. Are you giving your time to people who will give it back, or are you throwing time after people who don’t text you back and don’t make room for you in their schedules or their lives? Don’t make a priority out of people who won’t even make you a backup plan. You deserve better than that.
There are several ways to use your time. You can waste time, you can spend time, or you can invest time. I waste time sometimes by looking at Facebook. I’m human, I will admit it. The dark hole of the internet still ensnares me with it’s siren call. I spend time driving to work and cooking, cleaning, and buying groceries- things I can’t really avoid that are necessary to living an effective, healthy life. I try to invest time wherever I can. I invest time in my relationships- with people who care for me, who I care for, and who I am fairly confident will stick around. I invest time writing in my blog—it is my sincere hope that this becomes something valueable both to you , the reader, and me, the writer. I also hope that it becomes valueable and makes a positive impact in the environmental movement.
Our environment, no, our world, has limited time. The honest truth is, even if we were to stop emitting Carbon Dioxide this second, (which we won’t) we would still continue to have a climate that is changing due to human activity for years to come. That’s because takes time for carbon to cycle through the atmosphere and for the carbon that we put out yesterday to get absorbed and for our planet to deal with it.
Think of the brakes on a car. If you brake, your car will still continue to move forward due to the momentum you’ve built up. It’s like that.
That doesn’t mean it’s all gloom and doom. (see my last post about faith) it means that now is the moment in history when we need to spend and invest our time in ensuring a greener, cleaner, brighter, healthier, better future for our children, our grandchildren, and ourselves.
There is no time to waste.