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The Constant Called Time

Text by: Christine Pethel

What is the one thing that is completely out of our control
but has no face,
no personality,
no beginning,
and no end?
What transcends all race, culture and language…
dictates our actions and keeps us in sync?
Give up? Time.
Some have more. Some have less.
It all depends on what you decide to do with it.
Time is something I never seem to have enough of, am always trying to manage, and wonder if I'm ever spending wisely enough. It seems to be something on my mind almost every minute of every day. And as much as I don't want to consider myself a slave to it, sometimes I have to admit I just may be.

How much do you spend each day thinking and planning out your routine? As I thought about it, I decided to keep a running list of either thoughts I had, things I had heard from other people, or sayings about time I could remember. Do any of these look familiar?

-"What time is it?"

-"How much time do I have?"

-"I'm gonna be late."

-"I have all the time in the world."

-"I love when I'm early!"

-"I constantly feel like I'm running out of time."

-"How am I going to get all this done?"

-"I wish I had better time management skills."

-"Slow down. Take your time."

- "It doesn't take that much time to hang up your clothes or make your bed. Think of the number "2". It only takes 2 seconds to hang up your clothes, 2 minutes to make your bed, and 2 hours to do your chores and homework at night." (Said to my daughter while trying to teach her that if she would just learn to "keep up" on cleaning her room, it would take less time than cleaning it up all at once after it's become unbearable.)

-"Just wait. Give it time. You'll usually find the answer to your question if you just wait." (Said to my daughter who wants to know everything before it happens in a movie.)

-"It all gets better in time."

-"Even after all this time, it's like I never left. We just picked up right where we left off."

-"I would like to accomplish more things on time. Why do I always push my deadlines?"

-"That was such a waste of time."

-"What am I doing with my time?"

-"Is my time worth it?"

-"How could such an amazing person have had their time cut so short?"

-"How does that person seem to have so much more time than I do?"

-"That girl has way too much time on her hands."

-"Time seems to pass more quickly now - the school year is over, the summer has flown, and it seems like just yesterday the kids were starting their first day of kindergarten."

-"Am I spending enough time with my kids?"

-"Am I spending enough time with my husband?"

-"Am I spending enough time with my friends, and family?"

-"Am I spending enough time on everything?"

-"Am I teaching my children how to spend their time more wisely?"

-"How much time do I have?"

-"When will my time be over for good? How do you ever know?"

There is an obvious theme running through many of these comments and questions - that of not having enough time or whether or not that time is being spent in the best possible way. It's because we all know that time is always there… ticking away… hanging over our heads. It never stops to wait for us to "get it together." We all know that if we can't keep up with it, we could be left behind.

There are many times I think that if I could just manage my time better, life would be so much easier. I focus so much on fitting everything into one day and crossing to dos off my daily list that I become lost in the minute details, rather than enjoying the short time I have been given in life. It's a constant struggle I know many of you can relate to. So I hope this issue will be an inspiration to us all — to spend our time doing the things that matter most, discovering how much our time is worth, and feeling the freedom that comes from not being shackled to that ever-present constant called "Time."