October 19, 2015
Time. It flies, right? When bored, my kids complain it drags. Yet time remains in essence a commodity.
I’ve never been great at time management. My personality becomes embroiled in projects, lost in a labyrinth of my own devising. Like the resident of a fairy realm, time works differently for me. A task which should require fifteen minutes reveals itself as an hour-long project. Somehow when pressed, I squeeze out projects in fractions of expected time. I linger over what I love and drag my feet when faced with a task I hate.
Unfortunately, my kids seem unwitting recipients of my flighty and sporadic grasp of Chronos’ realm. Today, for example, they lounge in jammies, though they’ve already consumed the lunch I made for them. We work on imposing prompt attendances and respecting deadlines. After all, some tasks require attention. Bills must be paid, drivers’ licenses renewed, and doctor appointments scheduled and attended.
Yet there are other equally important aspects to life that require attention. Most important is giving the gift of time. Being truly present while sharing another’s company, and not preoccupied with media, became rare with such inventions as headphones. Our hand-held devices offer a world of distraction and a way to avoid actual social contact. Instead of gazing into another’s eyes, a screen distracts.
Don’t get me wrong. Social media holds a dear place within my heart. Thereby I keep in touch, if only in the most cursory of ways, with distant loved ones. I thereby share photos, experiences and stories. I check in to celebrate their triumphs and cry for their sadnesses. I bought my little house because of its proximity to my family, yet I don’t see them nearly as often as I wish or should. Time constraints and obligations keep me from seeing even those less than ten miles from home.
Many times I discover more about my children’s thoughts because of what they reveal on their social media pages rather than direct communication, which is a bit disturbing. It is a sign of our times, I suppose, and thus I owe a debt to social media outlets. They allow some measure of contact despite distances, physical and age-related.
Heck, even within our home, our varied schedules necessitate budgeting. I try to allot equal attention to each person, yet in truth, medical appointments take priority. We have a lot of doctors and specialists. At the end of the day, I curl up too exhausted to be of any use, yet that is the only time left in the day for me to read or write or complete classwork. It is not a wonder I’m exhausted much of the time.
I suppose I write this from a sense of guilt. I give of myself, yet the gift seems inadequate. Time never drags for me, because there is so much I need and want to do. Meanwhile, minutes become hours and days fritter by, speeding through seasons to create a kaleidoscope of experiences. I pray my family and friends somehow see my attempts and know they live in my flawed, flighty heart every second of every day.
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