There is so much I want to accomplish in my life, but it feels like there is never enough time for it all. Or, not enough time to truly savour each part of life. It seems we are always either wishing for times past, or looking ahead to something in the future. We never seem to be happy with the present and enjoying today.
I confess, I wish I had taken the time to truly enjoy each moment when my children were young instead of always wishing they were older so I could accomplish more. I was so busy trying to cram hundreds of things into my day, I didn’t take the time to enjoy each stage of their young lives.
One of the things I’ve learned is we all get the same amount of time in any 24 hour period. We can use that time well, or we can squander it, but no one is getting more than we are, they are only using it differently. How we use our time depends on many things including our jobs, economic status, family status, values etc. Some days it seems I can pack an amazing amount into that 24 hour day. Other times it would seem nothing was really accomplished (unless you consider watching multiple episodes of the Mentalist or Property Brothers as an accomplishment).I’ve also started to learn to enjoy the moment, to be mindful of what is going on around me instead of spending my time planning ahead and always doing. As a society we seem to commend doing rather than just being. It almost seems to be a status symbol to always be running around, flitting from here to there, constantly in a rush to “do” the next thing on our never ending lists.
One of the goals I committed to when I recently turned 50 was that I would not squander time any more. Suddenly time feels more precious and I realize I don’t have forever to accomplish all my lofty goals and dreams. I will probably even have to give up my dream of one day becoming a Navy Seal (after all, I am a Canadian citizen and not planning to move to the United States for one thing). I also wanted to practice being more mindful in daily living so I can really learn to appreciate all the little moments.
Essentially, being mindful is focusing on what you are doing right now. For example, as I type this blog post I might listen to the wind rushing past the window, or notice the sound and feel of my fingers on the keys of my computer, the sunlight filtering in the window to my left, the way the desk is cutting into my arm where it is resting, the smell of the air around me. Perhaps a thought may pop into my head that I have another task I need to do. Instead of allowing my mind to focus on that, I will let that thought pass right on by and bring my focus back to the task at hand.
Mindfulness is a trending topic and I will devote more time to it later, but for now I will get my focus back to my commitment to use time more effectively as that is what inspired me to create this website. I had thought about creating a website over a year ago, did a bunch of research and then got busy with other things and put it off. But turning 50 brought it back to my attention, front and center. I realized time was slipping away along with all the dreams and goals I had. It was time to take action. Thus the creation of a website that is about many of the things I am truly passionate about.
I want to encourage you to think about your dreams and goals. What are they, write them down. If you don’t have any, then perhaps it is time to set some goals. Think about the things you truly value and make sure your goals are in alignment with these. Think about what you are doing with your time, are you spending it well or squandering it?
Pictures were not altered.