Thursday, August 4, 2016

Coveting Time: Thursday's Reflection

My Father and Two of My Aunts
I think about time a lot. In fact, I covet time. How best to use my time. How not to waste time. What can I do to gain more time? How can I use my time more efficiently? Will I have time to do this or that? How much time will it take me to get there and will I be on time? (I really dislike being late.)

More and more I am aware of time running out--of having more sand in the bottom of my life's hourglass than at the top and frankly, what remains in the top seems to be draining into the bottom faster and faster. 

For the most part I am a productive person, and I pack quite a bit into a day, a week. I make my list at the beginning of the week and plot my writing time, as well as time needed for other obligations and for planned events. I am quite good at prioritizing and sticking to a schedule. None of that is new for me. 

What is new, however, is not having all the energy I need for all I want to do. By evening I am tired and have little energy to do any of the tasks which in my younger years I could have done after the dinner hour. In that way I feel constrained and even more aware of the passing of time and the boundaries of time. More and more I need to balance rest and relaxation with productivity. 

And yet there is so much more I want to do. 

Remember summers that used to stretch out in front of you full of lazy days? Remember how as a child you thought Christmas would never come or how could your birthday still be 10 more months away? Oh how those feelings have changed. Now, everything seems to melt into the next moment like a chocolate bar held in a warm hand. 

Here's what Joan Chittister has to say in her book The Gift of Years, Growing Older Gracefully, 
               Time is a wondrous thing, if only I fill it well.
                If I do not allow the passing of time to diminish 
                my spirit but, instead, see it as a call to live life
                to the dregs--being my best and developing and 
                life-loving self to the end. Then time is my friend,
                not my enemy. It gives me a heightened sense of
                life. It urges me on to discover it all. It marks the
                fullness of life; its mellowing, and it releases in me
                the self that has been coming into existence from
                the beginning. It is a new kind of life. p. 121

I am now 68. My father turns 93 in a few days and yesterday I was with two aunts (one nearly 80 and the other almost 85) and my godmother who is months away from 94. I am grateful for the healthy longevity that seems to be in my family, but that is certainly no guarantee that my days on the earth will be long. 

I don't feel depressed about that fact of life. Instead, my hope is to be more conscious of doing what I most want to do and spending time with those I love and care about. I am more determined to use my gifts, to continue to stretch and grow and to live a life that responds to the vision God had for me when I was created. I am still trying to figure out exactly what that means, but I give thanks for each day of ongoing exploration. And I intend to live my days as wisely and lovingly as I can. 

An Invitation
What is your relationship with time? I would love to know. 


  1. This post touched me. The thought that time is running out is distressing, but I know it's true. I'm 77 and very healthy, so I am looking forward to having many more years, but still! For the most part, I don't dwell on it! I love Joan Chittister, and have her book "The gift of Years", which I read and re-read.

  2. So glad to know this post touched you. So often Joan Chittister is exactly who I need, especially The Gift of Years.


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