Plug “how to save time” into your favorite search engine and see how many results you get.
Bing came up with 133,000,000.
Well, guess what? We can’t really save time.
Certainly we can learn to do certain tasks faster, but the minutes we “save” aren’t banked for use at a later date. And here’s a scary thought: It’s entirely possible — although I hope not probable — that there will be no later date.
The only time we have is now. Right now.
I’m honored that you’re sharing those precious minutes with me.
Why am I rambling on about time, you ask? Well, last night I looked at the calendar and realized twelve years have passed since the tragedy of 9/11.
Some of the emergency workers who raced up the steps of the towers are nearing retirement. There are women and men who were widowed that day that have now spent more years alone than they had with their spouses. The children who lost parents as preschoolers are teenagers.
In those twelve years, many of us have also lost loved ones.
Doctors found cancer in my mother-in-law’s brain in the spring of 2003. They gave her six months. She was gone in six weeks.
My friend Pat ran the Chicago Marathon in October 2010, was diagnosed with cancer in November, and died in January. An avid quilter, she was also my cycling buddy.
Dale, a friend from our airport, also died that year.
I miss each of them, for different reasons.
I buy way too many English china teacups because my mother-in-law always liked them.
When I cycle a route Pat and I once rode — or see a quilting shop — I think of her incredible knack for finding at least one store on every ride.
And I still expect to see Dale’s familiar smile at fly-ins around Ohio and remember him on the Fourth of July when, as his wife said, he “declared his independence” from cancer.
Life is finite, yet we live as though we are promised tomorrow, as if the time we “save” today will magically reappear in the future just when we need it.
It doesn’t work that way.
As Jim Croce — an artist who was granted a pitifully short time here on earth — sings in the video below, “There never seems to be enough time to do the things we want to do once we find them.”
It seems to me we need to figure out what we love most, and then do that more often.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But there are so many fascinating, worthy or, yes, simply fun things to do. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that we can’t do them all.
Perhaps it’s even more simple. Maybe what we should do instead is look for a kernel of joy in everything we do. Or even just a bit of humor.
It’s worth a try.
And on this day, as we remember those whose lives were cut short by the terrorists of 9/11, I ask you to do as many things as you can from the following short list.
- Hug your children if you have them. (If not, hug someone else.)
- Kiss your husband if you’re married. (If not, kiss someone else — it could be the start of something!)
- Call your mother.
- Tell at least one person you love them. Then, tell them why.
- Take a moment to remember something nice about someone who is gone.
- Last, but by no means least, take a moment to be grateful you’re still here.
- My Lesson from 9/11: Presence Matters – Often More Than Words (sowhatwouldyousay.wordpress.com)
- My thoughts and memories of 9/11-FC (munchkinamor2014.wordpress.com)