Press Here for a Slow Down
Have you ever wished that there was a button you could press on your phone or on your alarm clock to slow the speed at which time moves forward? 2019 has been one of those years for me. As much as I love to be busy and occupied, I have struggled this year with finding the time to keep up with some things that I am truly passionate about; like writing. Fall is upon us, and although I have written a few things, I have not once blogged an entry this year. This saddens me and has been weighing on my mind for some time now. I finally said, “enough is enough”, and so I am here writing a blog today, about time, and how it yields for nobody.
The world does not stop turning for anything, and life waits for no one. I am certain you are reading this and saying, “tell me something I don’t know,” and you are right. We all know that life waits for no one and still many of us stand idle as it passes us by. I am sorry to say that if there is anything that you want to do, see, read, or accomplish, it will not get done by thinking about it over and over again. You need to take action and keep taking action until you accomplish what you hoped to achieve. Get off your rump and do something! You will never stay in the same place if you are doing something. You may not always get where you want to go, but you certainly will not stay where you are either. I strongly believe that fear governs us to stay idle. We fear change, failure, embarrassment, being hurt, being wrong or losing what we have. Whatever it is that keeps you from taking action, I can almost bet that fear occupies the root of it.
“Get busy living, or get busy dying”Morgan Freeman in “Shawshank Redemption”
This year has been busy, but this can not be an excuse for finding the time to do the things I love to do. I may not have posted a blog in the last eight months, but it does not mean that I have to wait until next year to post my next. There is also no one that can say, I will not post twenty more before the year is out. Nor does it really matter. What matters is that I found the time to take action regardless of how long it has been. This is my point! There is no time limit of when to start, or when to finish. There is no finish line or start line. The only true competition is yourself. The athlete that finishes second is really not second. Sure, maybe in the eyes of others or the world stage that he/she is being measured by, they may be given the title of second place. However, if the athlete is only measured against himself, then he has already succeeded. He took action and ran the race, he may even have posted his fastest time. He spent countless hours training to be his best. He sacrificed more than ever, and pushed as hard as he ever has. These are all successes, and title no longer matters at this point. Nor is the athlete finished. He dusts himself off and begins again, taking with him the experience he has gained that no one else can teach. It is forever engraved on his heart and soul, and that is all that matters. This applies to anyone and everyone of all ages. From athletes, teachers, and students – to mothers, fathers, and artists. Whether that person is sixty years old who just learned to read, or sixteen years old and was granted a full scholarship to Harvard while finishing his grade 12; makes no difference. Both are giant accomplishments, and both are actions that elevate ones being.
You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.
Time does not care about titles. It cares only about present moments. It will not stop and wait for you to take action, nor does it care if you let it pass you by. To best utilize time, a person must be conscious and aware of the moments. What you are doing right now is what is important! Be aware of what your are doing and be completely present in that moment. Are you playing with your child? Are you enjoying a relaxing moment lying on the couch? Are you cutting the grass, studying for an exam, talking to your mother? Whatever it is, are you truly present in the moment? If not, stop and tell yourself – be present! It is much harder than you think. If you don’t like where you are, then take action and change it. If you really like where you are, then express gratitude and appreciation for it. Let it fill your heart and soul with that joy and energy.
I filled many moments this year with these feelings, which is partly the reason for not blogging. However, I still do not feel that it is an excuse to not make time to do the things I love. What you decide to do with the time you are given is completely up to you, but if you decide to do nothing with your time, you cannot complain about receiving nothing in return. Only action will produce change, and do not get me started on inaction, because making a conscious choice of not acting is by definition taking action. The difference is whether or not you are consciously choosing to do so, or if fear is guiding you away from doing what you would actually like to do.
The above photo I took with my phone during a moment of absolute joy and gratitude. For many years I have dreamed of that moment, and finally after seeing GB in concert 4 times, I was able to see him in one of his most memorable stadium performances. This moment stopped me dead in my tracks and my vocabulary is not advanced enough to give justice to how this made me feel. Obviously, I would like to fill my time with moments like this. Standing there with my spouse and 2 of our closest friends, breathing in the Colorado air, watching the storm clouds gather, hearing 85,000 people around me, listening to GB. It was a perfect moment!
I have had many great moments in 2019, but I’m sure you are asking, “what about the moments that you do not want?” What about the times that you wish would never happen, but yet you are stuck there, in that moment? You want to take action and change it, but can not? What do you do with these times? It is important to note that you can not undo what has been done, and until we learn how to turn back time, you must endure and also be present in that moment of uncertainty.
I heard the above quote two decades ago and can not remember where. It stuck with me because of its simplicity. Commonsense will tell you this over and over, but still we continue to worry about everything. If you find yourself in a moment that can be changed, then there is no need to worry. All you need to do is take action and change it. If you can not, then there still is no need to worry as it will not help matters. What you need to do is be present. Be aware and conscious of your feelings and emotions. It is during these times that you might find your greatest teacher. Some of these moments have the potential to produce the greatest changes, as long as you can recognize their potential. Do not let them pass you by – wishing them away. Be present with them, and take action by paying attention to them and exercising patience. The time will come where they will reveal themselves as opportunities for growth.
I have also experienced a few of these more difficult moments during 2019. My wife and I decided to experience parenthood, and began trying for a child. Although becoming pregnant was not an issue, I had to watch and be present through two miscarriages. This is incredibly difficult to do when all you feel is helplessness as your spouse struggles with all the changes that occur. This is a moment that you can not change and something that we both have had to accept. We changed a few things about our lives during this time, tried again, only to have to endure and repeat what we just finished going through. Life can do this to you, and there is one great thing about time, and that is that it heals everything.
There were other moments that I have had to be mindful about in 2019. Moments that were certainly unfavorable, but I can assure you that there were far more gratifying and joyous ones. Do not let fear stop you from doing things that you actually wished you did. Do not let others tell you what you should do with your time. It is your time, not theirs!
“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made of.”
I have only had 3 icons during my life so far, and the quote above is from one of them. Throughout time, you will be both be rewarded for how you utilize time, and penalized for how you waste it, but what I can tell with certainty is one day there will no longer be any time left to do the things you wanted to do, or create the change you wished to create. You will be out of time, and then what? Well… it no longer matters, and I imagine I shall meet you there.