Tuesday, January 17, 2017
The time we choose not to lose
By Monica Vest Wheeler
Did you ever fully consider the terms "passing the time," "passing the buck" or "passing the butter"? The latter two symbolize passing along something to someone else. The first is something you can indulge in solely or collectively, but its consequences are yours alone to ponder … and accept.
I've not been obsessed by the topic of time since my dad's sudden passing a month ago, but I have been consumed by his watch that I wear all the time everywhere, except in the shower. Now, whether it was my dad's doing or a defect in the watch, it's running two days ahead on the date setting. We unsuccessfully tried resetting it and then finally decided not to waste any more time on it.
What I have found interesting is this sudden need to be planning ahead. Is it the watch? I've also found myself thinking more before speaking. Is it the watch? I've also been more "present" in the time I give myself, which has been considerably more of a focus on my own health in the past four and a half weeks. Is it the watch?
The greater discovery is that I fully comprehend that I have a choice in how I spend that time. It's always been there, but I didn't completely grasp it until recently. Is it loss? Is it age? Is it common sense finally kicking in after all these years? I'm placing my bets on the last possibility since my brain is a little quirky at times …
We all waste or pass the time at times, because our brains do need an occasional break, but I find myself increasingly baffled by the folks who toss aside time like it's an endless commodity and dilute the value of their own lives.
I cannot understand people who spend endless hours playing computer/tablet/phone games in isolation … instead of playing games face-to-face with abandoned children and forgotten seniors who would give anything for a playing companion.
I cannot understand people who lounge on the couch in front of the TV for eons and cheer for strangers thousands of miles away … instead of cheering on the local heroes and becoming heroes in their own right by extending a hand to those less fortunate.
I cannot understand people who are consumed by a poverty or self-pity mindset … and refuse to see or accept the bounty of life and solutions around them, the gifts of love, comfort and care extended to them, all because they're so wrapped up in their own hopeless world.
Remember this: we have the time we choose not to lose.
Not a moment was lost as I attended a visitation Monday afternoon … and talked Monday night to a dear friend who got a cancer diagnosis earlier in the day.
Not a moment was lost as I misplaced some sleep to compose this essay.
Where's your time you're choosing not to lose today?