Life speeds by, one minute after the next, one day forever gone, one month, one year. Children grow, new lives are born, others taken away. Time mixes together, mingling our years into one, until what we are left with are significant moments that mark our days.
It’s a cliché to say time passes quickly. But it does. We blink, we breathe, and time is gone. How well I’ve learned that time can be taken away, as well as people, as well as life.
I know we can’t stop the passing of time. But perhaps we can slow it down and learn to enjoy each day a little more. Perhaps we can learn to stop watching minutes tick by, and stop crossing days off the calendar.
It’s a journey I’ve been on, learning to enjoy life, and not see it as one quick passing of time. I don’t believe we were placed on this earth to work and eat and sleep and work again, and watch time sift through our fingers. I think life is more than that.
Sure, we have obligations, children to attend to, as well as spouses. We have jobs, some of us two. We have dinners to prepare, and breakfast to serve to our families. We have school commitments and sporting events. And, unfortunately, that’s not all. Life is busy, hectic, and sometimes confusing. And when it gets that way, time speeds by, until our days and lives have passed.
I want you to take time this weekend, to enjoy life, family, or being alone. Here are a few things I found helpful.
1. Get up before everyone else. Enjoy your tea, coffee, or freshly squeezed juice. Breathe.
2. Involve the family for breakfast. Make pancakes and eat together. Talk, or just be silly.
3. Laugh at life. Laugh at mistakes. Enjoy the mishaps. At the sheer insanity of it. It may not slow down time, but it will make the moments that go by seem like a breeze instead of a whirlwind.
4. In between errands, or running to sports, or in the middle of a Saturday-long clean-a-thon, stop and breathe. Literally. Wherever you are, close your eyes (preferably not while driving), and take a few deep breaths, and slowly release. Listen to the world around you, and for just those few minutes, enjoy each sound.
5. Take time to hug your family, your spouse, your children, your parents, or whoever is with you. (Or a stranger? – That might be taking it too far.) Take time to tell them you love them, not in a fleeting way, but with heartfelt sincerity.
6. Do one thing with your family, something that is fun. Stop at the park for lunch in between errands. Go down a slide with your child. Kick the ball in a field. Take twenty minutes to let them know that life is more than work, that they are more important than anything.
7. Do one thing with your spouse. Watch a movie, sip wine, sit on the patio, take time to be a couple. No children, no phones, nothing but the two of you.
8. Do one thing for yourself. You are special, unique, and busy beyond belief. Take a bath or a long hot shower. Paint your nails. Read a book. Go for a walk. Do it. For you.
Nothing can stop time. It speeds by, as if its very mission is to make our lives into a harried frenzy. But only we can do that. Even with all the commitments and activities we need to attend to, our lives can have quiet moments that silence time, if only for a moment.
Slow Down. Don’t Move So Fast.