Thoughts on Time and the One Word That Drives Me Nuts

I hope you enjoyed my video introduction. I’m trying something new with my blog posts in the hopes of giving them a bit more personality by adding a video intro to each of them. Please let me know what you think. Do you prefer the video intro or would you rather just get on with reading the blog? Your feedback is super important to me because it helps me bring content to you in a way that is most enjoyable for You!

So in the video, I mentioned discussing time and how we spend it. I think if we looked at time in the same way we look at money we would be more discerning in how we spent it. If you were only given $24 in your day would you really choose to spend $3 surfing Facebook? See, that right there was a game-changer when you put it into perspective. Why do we value money to the point that we go to great lengths to save it any chance we get (ie, coupons, Black Friday shopping, BOGOs…) but when we have an opportunity to save time (ie. turning the TV off, getting off of devices, logging out of social media…) the choice is so much more difficult? Isn’t that crazy? What’s crazier is the fact that in the grand scheme of things it’s time, not money, that is more precious. Let me give you a little personal story to go with that thought.

A few years ago, I took a trip back home to Ohio to visit my family. My mom was in a nursing home and was not doing well. I hadn’t seen her in a while, so I made plans to go for a visit. I was only planning on being there for a long weekend. Not long after my brother picked me up at the airport, I got a text from my sister telling me Mom was not doing well and that it would probably be best to just go straight from the airport to the nursing home to see her. This was not at all what I was expecting. This was supposed to be a fun, happy visit filled with laughter and selfies and memories to keep forever.

We got to the nursing home and rushed back to Mom’s room. I got to talk with her and spend some time with her and my dad. She was her usual feisty self, which I was glad to see, but I could also see she was not well. I didn’t want to leave…ever. Unfortunately, however, when you have an elderly family member you have to do what is in their best interest. I could have stayed there for 100 years, but Mom really needed to rest and I knew I could just come back in the morning after she had a good night’s sleep and we could take more selfies and make more memories.

3 a.m. came and my brother knocked on the door of the room I was sleeping in. Through the darkness, I heard my brother’s voice say, “Hey Tess, Mom’s gone.” I will never, ever forget that moment as long as I live. Mom’s gone. How could that possibly be? I had plans for the next day. The only reason I left her room was because I knew I could see her again the next day. She just needed to rest, right? This was all a bad dream, right?

Time. It’s never guaranteed for any of us. All we are promised is this present moment right now. And if we remember that and we live every moment as if it was our last, in theory, we will be living our best lives. So how do we go about doing that? Here are a few tips that have worked for me:

Start Each Day With Prayer and Gratitude

I asked the teens in the LifeTeen class that I teach at our church what the first thing they did when they woke up in the morning was…aside from opening their eyes. Almost all of them said they check their phones which are tucked neatly beside their beds. I realized that was the first thing I do as well. And then I realized that in making that choice I was putting the world, my phone, ahead of God. He was the reason I woke up that day, how rude and ungrateful of me to not first stop and thank Him for that blessing. So I can tell you that now, the first thing I do each morning is say a prayer of gratitude for the day and every blessing I have. Then I check my phone. What can I say, I’m human.

Make a To-Do List

I have a daily planner that helps keep me on track with the things I need to accomplish each day. In the evening, I sit down and plan out my next day. I make my laundry list of things I would ideally like to get done, and then I pick the top 3 and put those on a separate list. At the end of the day if I get nothing more than those 3 things done I consider it a successful day. I schedule in time for reading or relaxing as well. That helps give me something to look forward to and helps ensure that I have an opportunity to relax before going to bed…which helps me sleep better.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

At the end of the day, no one is perfect. If the floors don’t get scrubbed, it’s not going to be the end of the world. Try to keep things in perspective. People always come first. Relationships need to be nurtured in order to grow. Chores will always be there, work tasks will always be there, people…not so much. Like I said, take care of the important things first and the rest will fall into place.

Oh yeah, and that pesky word that I mentioned that drives me nuts: busy. How many times have you heard someone say (or have said yourself), ” I meant to (insert task) but I was so busy I just didn’t get around to it.” I love the quote, “If it’s important you’ll make a way if not, you’ll make an excuse.” Being busy, most times is nothing more than an excuse that we hide behind in order to cover up our shortfalls. We’re all “busy”, but we all have the same opportunity to decide whether we’re too busy to make the more meaningful choice that will positively affect our lives.

Make the time, not an excuse. Don’t take anything or anyone for granted. Pray with a grateful heart. Live each moment as if it were your last. Take care of one another. Dance like no one is watching…and love like you’ve never been hurt. That’s how you live your best life.

P.S. Thank you for choosing to spend your time with me.

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