Getting to a destination always seems longer than returning from it. As a child, holiday trips with caravan in tow (the type that my son loves letting me know are in museums now) were painful as each minute felt like an hour of summer swelter glued to vinyl seats in an airless car.
As an adult, it's more about looking back on time and wondering how a year (or a decade) can scoot by so quickly.
I remember being In my teenage years - not able to imagine what my 30's would be like and then on reaching that decade not imagining my 50's - and now I can't imagine my 70's.
From a generational perspective time is perceived differently. My parents lived in a time that had specific milestones around marriage, births, retirement and a shortened expectation around longevity to what we have now.
I think our approach to living and ageing has changed. Time, for me, is what I choose it to be - and what I mean by this is how I live moment-to-moment is a choice. I'm fortunate to live in a first-world country and not fear for my safety and know I can have medical attention as needed.
Is Gratitude Too Soft?
And for this I'm grateful - yet is this too 'soft'? Is there something more that needs to be done to express these feelings of gratitude? Something more genuine?
I saw this quote the other day by Jacques-Yves Cousteau:
"If a person for whatever reason has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself."
It stopped me in my tracks because it wasn't just another 'feel good, do good' message littered across our Facebook pages.
In one sentence Cousteau summed up 'time' for me - taking action to demonstrate my gratitude.
Gratitude journals are fabulous as they remind us to be grateful - for a roof over our heads, a plentiful supply of food, good health, well-run schools and all the millions of things most of us take for granted every day.
So I'm wondering how you express gratitude - do you journal it? Or do you do as Jacques-Yves Cousteau encourages - share your 'extraordinary life' and its gifts with others.
We each have the opportunity to live an extraordinary life - if we choose to use time wisely - knowing that the moment-to-moment choices we make either fulfill our hopes and desires or delay them.
My question to you is - How will you choose to turn up in your life - in an extraordinary way that enriches others - or in the same-same rish-rush that modern society now takes for granted?
I suppose this is at the root of the work I do. It's a way of reaching out - a way of calling attention to time. A way of reminding myself of the famous line from the play Sweet Bird Of Youth by Tennessee Williams:
“I don't ask for your pity, but just for your understanding – not even that – no. Just for some recognition of me in you, and the enemy, time, in us all.”
That line always strikes a chord with me, so I'd like to ask you two questions if I may:
- What did you hope for yourself last year that you didn't achieve?
- What would it mean for you to achieve that this year?
Write the answer in your journal and reflect on how you could make this happen.
Perhaps taking a Master Class in Creative Mindfulness could help you get closer to achieving your dreams.