Sunday, January 20, 2013

25 Seconds Off the Clock

I was watching a football game with my son last weekend and he made a comment that by not using a timeout and letting the clock run, the team had lost 25 seconds and it wasn’t coming back.

I thought about that comment.  It really stuck in my mind.  Every minute, every hour, every day that you don’t use and enjoy, you lose.  You don’t get it back.

I met a wonderful woman over the holidays who said to me, “the one thing in life that is not renewable is time”.  That may be an overstatement, but it helps us remember that really thinking consciously about what you do and how you use your time is critical.  It’s not just about being efficient with your use of time, it’s about enjoying it.

Yes, I know, certain tasks must be accomplished.  But, what if not going for a walk or taking time to think quietly changes your quality of life? What if those things don’t happen or you don’t make time for them?

Lately, I have been working at a job that I love.  I spend hours doing it, thinking about it, and feeling grateful that I have a chance to enjoy this work.  But, I have also had less time to meditate, walk, cook, think, be at peace, and spend time with family and friends.

I realize that life is a pendulum and there needs to be balance.  No matter how much I love working these days, I need other quiet activities to balance the energy of the work.  

That’s where the 25 seconds comes in.  I won’t get that time back either.  I have come to learn that being in alignment or balance for me is an equal amount of adrenalin filled activity and quiet, introspective moments.  Too much of either throws me out of whack.

That means being conscious of being at one end of the spectrum or the other end and making a change.  It means knowing when I need down time, especially alone time, which re-energizes me.

Time is precious and that is not just a cliche.  What is wonderful, though, is if you are conscious about how you spend your time and whether you are truly spending time doing what you value, whether it is working hard or deep breathing. There is a sense of clarity, order, and balance when it is all working right for you.  It is different for every person.  It not as important how each of us spends our time as it is that we are consciously choosing how to spend it and acknowledging when we are off kilter.