Time to smell the roses

It has been a couple weeks since I last wrote a post. I blame time, and the lack of it. It seems that no matter how I structure my day, how carefully I plan for each hour, the minutes whiz passed without any regard to my unfinished and unused time. Admittedly, not much planning happens. It’s usually a fly by how I feel in the moment, a last-second spontaneous decision, but still. I wake each morning with the idea that I have no time to waste. I just have to use my time in some productive way, preferably outside.

It is quite curious, the way each of us use our time. The way we treasure a moment or blindly spend hours doing nothing depends on the soul of the person experiencing the life. How easy it is to think that spending a lazy afternoon watching a TV series and napping is a waste of time compared to going for a surf + swim + gardening + doing house chores. However, within that day, depending on the individual and their needs, whatever the choice might be is as valid as someone preferring chocolate ice-cream to strawberry. I hear you cry out, no way, napping all day IS a waste! Is it though, when your body is tired? Is reading a book and letting the house chores wait such a wrong when your soul is exhausted? In my opinion, there is never enough time to be a perfect human being and achieve it all. Yet the pressures we place on ourselves, and on others is more than the air exerts that we pump into our car tyres.

I look around at the people I pass on the street and my heart aches at the exhaustion I see etched on everyone’s face. Why we live this way, constantly on full speed is beyond me. I do it myself. I wake in a sweat with all the prospective achievements waiting for me each day. Why did we stop at 24 hours per day? Imagine if time extended to 48 hours in a day. Would we achieve more? Or would we simply catch up to ourselves and have even more things left undone because now we have more time to fill. This lack of time, is it a human affliction, or a society affliction? Of course there is so much to do, to experience in between simply having to work and keep our homes, but the itch to fill our day further, what is that?

You know what I think it is? It is the search for fulfillment, for enjoyment in a day most likely spent walking too fast in a job that can never provide the heart-quickening sensation of happiness. Specifically, the overwhelming happiness of laughing until you double over at a moment that never lasts long enough. The moments found when spending time with those you love, when doing a hobby that you are good at, when reading the words of a favourite author.

I’ve come to the conclusion that our lives are made up of moments, some good, some bad, some ordinary ones to balance things, and then the sleeping time and the time spent at work. It is so easy to say, and we have all heard it often enough, that we need to try and find those good moments and make them wonderful. We need to search for those precious moments as if digging for gold! If only they were simply tucked around the corner of our hours. If only family didn’t live so far away, or holidays came more often. We live our days waiting for the next to be better, for our days off, for the sun to come out and the rain to stop. We wait and wait, and watch time fly by. Then we sit at the age of 90 and reminisce on the few memories we were lucky enough to retain. What if enjoyment was found in the simple things. If not much time is free in the day, and an ocean swim is all that can be done before going to work, then maybe that can be enough. Maybe it can be enough to feel the sand between our toes and the cold, salty water cover our heads. Maybe it means going to bed earlier and rising with a sunrise? It definitely means putting down the phone and actively participating in conversations with your loved ones. Take a moment to actually hear their voice, to count the freckles on their nose, to notice how they say the word ‘almond’ (it’s very different in Australia). Ask them their favourite colour. Talk to the elderly gentleman buying a full tray of strawberries at Harris Farms because they were $5.00 and find out he is 102!! Incredible. Take pride in your small or very large achievements.

I have not given a solution or found the magic formula, except to say, when you bite into an exceptionally juicy grape, or you laugh with sincerity and not just out of politeness, when the joy bubbles in your tummy, take just a moment to relish that feeling. Life is precious in every moment, and really crap at other times, so this is pretty much all we can do.

Unless you have a better solution?


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