|ALL ABOUT TIME
June 21st is the longest day of the year. The amount of daylight begins to diminish after this date. We may not even notice the seconds that are added to the darkness hours, but in time, an hour will be deleted from the day and so forth.
Time is really in the mind. It is not something that you can grasp, touch, smell, or even see. You cannot hear time. Surely, the ticking moments on a watch gives you some insight into how quickly days pass, but time, of itself, is not really anything.
But time is so very important to each and every one of us. Our homelife, jobs, career obligations, children’s events, social engagements are all set for a specific time. You set an alarm clock to wake you and you go to sleep after the 10 p.m. news. You eat lunch at noon and supper around 6. Your birthdays falls on a particular date in time and holidays roll around year after year. Stores carry calendars and time pieces by the millions. Everyone has appointment books or desk diaries. We note special occasions and important dates to remember. Our days are set around a 24 hour, 30 or so day month, and 12 months in a year. We age, or so we think, by our calendars. Now, step out of the realm of time and ask yourself what you would be doing right now if time did not exist. Would you be following a similar schedule or would you be freer to do what you want to do when you want to do it? Would you accomplish the same amount of work or would you slack off because time is not of the essence? Oh, the doors that self-knowledge opens!!
Of course, time will be with us as long as we live. We will have to abide by the standards that the world sets for certain dates, activities, and occurrences. However, there is a freedom that we take for granted - the freedom of choice in what we do with the time we are given. Will we make it a better world, or are we just biding our time? Do we plan on bringing beauty into our part of the universe with music, art, and literature? Will we help as many as we can along the way, or will we hurry by, checking our watches, so that we don’t miss a single “important” item on our agenda.
Who decides what is important and what needs to be done? Who - you! Yes, you have the ability to pick and choose, do or not do, and also decide priorities. If you are a business leader, do you have time for your employees? As a worker, do you have time to share insight and possibly new ways to do a determined task so that it would be easier and more pleasant for everyone? As a mother, father, daughter, son, grandmother, grandfather and so forth, do you set aside time to keep happy relationships in good repair or do you glide across the mirror of years and figure things will take care of themselves? As a husband or wife, you make sure there is quality time for the children, but do you sometimes forget meaningful time with each other?
Do you keep in touch with friends, try to establish new acquaintances, and lift up those that are unhappy, hurt, or in need of a kind word or a touch of your hand? You make out your
appointment sheets, set your time restraints and choose the importance of what takes up your time and what you set aside for later. But how much later is later?
Earning a living, whether you are single, married, divorced, or widowed will surely take up a lot of time. Then why do others find a few moments to stop and chat, smile at a passer-by, or even thank someone for assisting them with their purchases or serving their meal? Note that the really important tokens of being a happy, healthy, loving person take only a moment or two. In turn, you will find out, they add years to your outlook and to your vision of the future.
None of us know how much actual time we have to live, nor would we want to. With information like that, we might make foolish choices and create dangerous situations for ourselves and others. So this information is not ours, but if we wake in the morning, we have a day to look forward to. We can fill it immediately with “to do” things or we can follow our schedules but keep an eye open for opportunities to become what others need, reach out to those you can’t, and stop a moment instead of walking past.
Each and every day will not be a “pollyanna” type of ritual. It will be a time of being available for what is really important in life and what will count in the end. Whatever comes along can be dealt with or handled however seems appropriate. There are always small “hidden” treasures of a moment or two to say “thank you” and “please.” A smile doesn’t even use up a second, but its glow will reach into the ages. A sincere handshake will move mountains, and a loving meal will feed the soul as well as the body. Time is what you make it - use it however you choose - but you can’t stop it from ticking. Today’s opportunities will not be there tomorrow. A missed chance at being someone’s mentor, friend, or lean-on may never come our way again.
Our treasure chests are filled with the jewels of hours and the rubies of days. Hidden or squandered they fade and vanish. Used, they emit a glow that will light up the entire solar system. If there is life on other planets, I do hope our beam of time will brighten their day and give them hope to know that time is what you make of it, not what it does to you.
©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 June
Arleen Kaptur has written numerous articles, cookbooks, how-to books, and the novel: SEARCHING FOR AUSTIN JAMES