By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN
In the few months before my father’s death I had an unusual experience with time. My wristwatches and I didn’t seem to be getting along. I would put one watch on only to have it fall off my wrist later in the day. As I moved into different time zones another watch seemed to reset on its own volition. One watch simply stopped working all together.
After I had enough of these experiences I finally stopped to think and consider what was happening. “I’m running out of time!” This realization hit me like a ton of bricks. I immediately changed my plans. I re-prioritized my calendar and immediately went to my parent’s home for an extended vacation.
And I changed my thoughts and words. “I have all the time in the world.”
I realized I wasn’t running out of time, but I was running out of the immediate opportunities to spend with my beloved father. Although he is no longer in this earthly plain, my strong relationship with my father continues. And yet, I’m so grateful that I paid attention and changed my focus and my energies of how and where I spent my time during the days and weeks of my father’s life. I don’t know if I was running out of time, but I did have all the time in the world because I made this happen.
How is your relationship with time? Do you spend energy trying to manage your time? How is that going?
The reality is that of course you can’t manage your time. You can only manage how you spend your focus and energy in the time we are all given. Time is the great equalizer because all of us, no matter our nationality, religion, color, gender, age, sexual orientation have the same amount of time. And time marches on.
Here is a different idea. How about if you change how you think and talk about time. Try your own experiment to see what effect changing your relationship with time has on your Mental Health & Happiness.
Here’s how you start. Listen and note your out loud thoughts, what you say, about time. Here are some possibilities:
I’m running out of time.
There isn’t enough time.
We are going to be late. If we want to be on time we need to leave now!
This traffic is going to make us miss our train.
Our days are numbered.
This is just a sampling. Perhaps you have your own unique thoughts or experiences as you rush through your day to try and squeeze in all you must during this day (another measurement of time).
Now make a list of how you think and talk about time. Instead of referring to time as a scarce and limited resource change to an abundant point of view.
There is more than enough time
I have all the time in the world
The world is filled with more time, more love and more peace.
I can always make time for what is important.
I arrive on time with joy and grace.
This traffic gives me a chance to be grateful for all the time I have this day.
I will make the most of all the days in my life.
Add your own thoughts, ideas and statements about time as an abundant resource.
The next time you hear yourself thinking or speaking about the scarcity of time switch to a statement from your list of time as an abundant resource. Now notice what effect this change has on your Mental Health & Happiness.