Why Bother Noticing Time?

Why Bother Noticing the Time?

Back in the 1970s, when I was in high school, there were more than a few songs on the radio that referred to time passages. “Time keeps on slippin into the future,” and “Seasons change and so did I,” are some of the lyrics to the songs I remember. Yet, as a teenager, those lyrics referring to time did not mean as much to me as they do today. Back then, it felt as though I had an infinite amount of time. Now, I know I don’t. 

                Time Flows Forward

Though time did not mean so much to me back then, it does today. Two important events occurred this month that caused me to pause and reflect on the fact of how time passes flawlessly, smoothly, and continuously. 

First, one of my favorite nephews turned forty. Turning forty is in my rear view mirror, but it was not for my nephew. And he, like me, never really fathomed living to be that “old”. Now he has lived to be as old as his auntie once was. 

I did not tell him that I remember wiping his nose, reprimanding him for his bad attitude or wondering when he’d ever “grow up.”  Instead, I just wished him a happy birthday knowing what it is like to turn forty. 

The second event that seemed benign yet momentous was that I watched my grandson play football in our town’s stadium. I sat in the grandstand with my oldest son watching his son play ball. At the same time,  I reminisced about the games my husband and I had watched in the same grandstands when our son was just a babe bundled in blankets. It was a surreal moment. 

Time does flow and though we cannot stop the clock, replay life in slow motion, or edit our mistakes we can choose how to live our lives in such a way that when we do look back, we can see how much we’ve changed, for the better. 

Time, along with experience, has taught me the value of the moments we do have. Contentment, rich relationships, and commitment are lessons we can’t learn in a hurry, but only through the ages of time. 

Why bother noticing time? Time keeps on slippin, we can’t save time in a bottle, seasons change and so do we. Hopefully, for the better.

Why Bother With Perfect Timing?

Why Bother With Perfect Timing? 

There are some things in life that cannot be rushed or forced. Instead, they have their own timeline and in that perfect time, unfold. Back in the 1960s, there was a song made famous by the Byrds called, Turn! Turn! Turn!. The lyrics were taken almost verbatim from a wise guy  named Solomon. Whether you listen to the song, or read the words directly from the book of Ecclesiastes, the message is the same; there is a right time for everything. 

    Third Times the Charm

Back in November of 2021, my friend and I set off on a hike in the Cabinet Mountains. We put on a few warm layers of clothing, zip our gators over our pant legs and tie up our water proof boots. We sling our day packs, filled with the necessary survival gear, over our shoulders and set off down the trail. The weather is still mild and the snow only ankle deep. We are optimistic that we’ll find Cascade Falls, a four mile one way trek. 

It was easy going for the first two miles, but the farther into the wilds we trudged, the more difficult the trail became. First of all, the snow level came up to our knees in some places. But that was not what stopped us. Losing the trail all together is what made us turn around. There is a season, and time to every purpose, and early winter was not the season or the time for us to see the falls.

  June of 2022, we try again. It is warm, and the days are longer. Our layers of clothing are lighter, and there is no need for gators. We still pack our day packs with survival gear, sling them onto our shoulders and start our trek for a second time. We we optimistic that we will  make it this time.

At first, navigating the puddles of spring runoff that dotted the trail was a good challenge. But the further into the wilds we went, the more difficult it was to find our way around the water filled holes. At one point we had to abandon the trail completely because water from a nearby stream filled the trailway. 

When we saw that the path and any route around it was submerged in a foot of water, we sadly retraced our steps back to the trail head and our car. There is a season, and time to every purpose, and early spring was not the season for us to see the falls.

On a weekday in August, my friend and I try once again to find the falls. The weather is very warm. We carry more water than anything in our day packs. This time, there is no water or snow on the trail. The creek that parallels the path is completely dry and we wonder if the falls will be dry too.

We can’t lose the trail this time though because there is new signage and pink flagging that keeps us on the right track. Though a warning sign at the trailhead alerts us to bear activity, we only see old dry scat. We ford a tributary that is filled with water and our hope soars. Maybe the falls will have cascading water too. Sweat runs down our backs and soaks our shirts, but we keep climbing up the dusty hill. At one point we stop and stand in what appears to be a dry falls bed. Mossy rocks and tree debris make us wonder if this is the falls. Did we finally find them only to see them dry?

But we do not turn around. There is still some distance to go. Then, they are there, right before us in all their glory. We make our way down to the running water, remove our boots and socks. Our toes tingle delighted by the cold water. I am giddy. The place is astoundingly beautiful. We eat our lunch, walk on the mossy rocks and enjoy the view. It was the season and the perfect time to see the falls. 

Why bother with perfect timing? There is a season to everything and nothing we do will hasten it. But when it finally comes, we get to enjoy the pleasure of it. 

Why Bother Enjoying The Gift Of Summertime?

Why Bother Enjoying The Gift of Summertime?

Time, I believe, is a gift and I think summertime is the best present of all. It gets lighter earlier, around 3:00 a.m., and the sky’s luminescence lingers longer into the night than I am able to stay awake. The air temperature equals that of my body, making it pleasant to spend more time outside than in. And summertime is the only time I’m not constrained and limited by going off to work in a classroom.  

Unlimited Time

In some ways, my regular daily routine doesn’t change too much from fall to winter to summer. My energy level is much higher in the a.m. than in the p.m. making me an early riser, and my need to exercise still exists. The summer though, affords more time to do more of what I love, yoga. With a work schedule, I’m limited to yoga on the weekends. The summertime calendar, on the other hand, opens up more opportunities. I can take a midday class on a Monday or to teach an early morning class in my driveway on a Tuesday. Without limited time, my choices are unlimited. 

Summertime affords lingering over breakfast. I still fix my usual veggie omelet and sit down to eat. My space though, is different. I might sit on the front porch stoop, plate in hand while reading the newspaper in my lap. Or I may take myself out the back door to sit at the picnic table and watch the birds at my feeder. In other words, I am not restricted to sitting at the kitchen table gobbling down eggs in order to leave the house at a certain hour. Instead, I can pour myself one more cup of coffee and sit and sip a little while longer. 

In the summertime I do not commute. I do not have to buckle myself into my car, adhere to the speed limit and drive twenty minutes to work. Instead, my bike becomes the main mode of transportation. I live a short distance from Farmers Market, the yoga studio, the gym and the library, my main summer destination points. Summertime is the only time I have the pleasure, joy and liberty of leaving my car in the garage. Using my bike to get from point A to point B means I get to skip the frequent stops at the gas station and enjoy the slower means of travel.

I could spend hours reading and that is exactly what I allow myself to do during summer break. I spread a blanket and pillow out on the lawn, open a novel and wade through my favorite genre: historical fiction. Summertime is the only time allotted for such a luxury as reading the day away.

One of the natural traits of a teacher is that they are always learning something new. This summer I decided to find out more about the small farming industry. I purchase fresh produce and eggs each week from a couple who own and operate a small farm. Their motto is, “Know your farmer better than your physician.” I’ve taken them up on that challenge and for a few hours each week volunteer at their twenty-five acre farmstead. I don’t expect to master the art of growing anything. I will get to know my farmer better than my physician though. 

Why bother enjoying the gift of summertime? It is worth noting that we all have the same amount of time each day. Sometimes though, when unconstrained, it becomes a gift.

Why Bother to Think About Time?

Why Bother to Think About Time?

My personality has a persnickety side to it. I am finicky, especially when it comes to choosing how I fill my days. Although we’ve all been given the same amount of time, twenty-four hours for each day, none of us know when the balance of our time is gone. 

Deposits and Withdraws

I keep a certain amount of money in my checking account and subtract from that amount every time I write a check. Keeping track of how much money I have in my account keeps me wise. I know exactly when I need to make a deposit so that I do not write a check for an amount I do not have. Penalties for bouncing a check are expensive.  

But none of us can add any days to our lives. Those are already numbered.  And no one knows the day of their expiration. We just know that someday, we all die. 

Sleeping takes one third of every day, leaving me only two-thirds of any given day to live in a worthy way. So, I’ve learned to eliminate some trivial, unimportant and meritless things in my life in order to spend more time on what I consider to be more fitting. 

First of all, I don’t spend any time golfing. I tried it once when a friend had the bright idea of golfing as a foursome. My husband golfs and since she and her husband golf too it seemed like the perfect idea for the four of us to do it together. “You are so athletic. You will do great,” she said, convincing me to try it. 

I like walking, I like the outdoors and I’m not opposed to trying  new things. But after nine holes of focused effort on getting a ball in a hole by hitting it with a club, I had a headache. Giving it up gives me more time for the things that fit me; running, swimming, riding a bike and yoga. 

The second thing I gave up was sewing. I tried that once too. Again, it was a friend who convinced me to try sewing. “It’s fun and easy,” she told me. Then she willingly and patiently taught me how to lay out a pattern, cut the cloth, and thread the needle. But when I sewed something wrong and had to tear out the stitches with a sharp seam ripper that bloodied my thumb, I did not see the ease or fun of sewing. I gave my sewing machine away and took up writing instead. Pressing the delete button to start a sentence over is much easier than tearing something out with a sharp object that bloodies one’s thumb.

Lastly, I don’t spend any time looking up a weather forecast. My day does not depend upon something as unpredictable and changeable as the wind, air temperature or precipitation. Instead of taking the time to look up the ten day weather forecast, I open my back door and go for a run in the weather. Not wasting time looking up the forecast frees me to simply be in the forecast, whatever it might be. 

Without spending any time improving my golf swing, ripping out stitches from sewing mistakes, or watching a weather forecast, I eliminate the trivial, unimportant and meritless tasks making room for those more deserving of the moments, minutes and hours of the day I’ve been given. 

Why bother to think about time? It is worth it since we can’t make any deposits and whatever we withdraw cannot be replaced.