Tag Archives: time


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.”

waitingwomanI 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.

Relationships: Function of Time and Meaning

by Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Many years ago a wonderful mentor of mine explained that significant and satisfying relationships were a function of time and meaning. We have all experienced an encounter so full of meaning that you think you and this person will be soul mates for ever only to discover that you hardly remember his name the following week. We’ve also probably had a relationship with an elderly relative who has known us all of our lives. Unfortunately after we finally graduate and become an adult each subsequent meeting with this person becomes more awkward. Yes, your relationship is full of time. But eventually there is only insignificant and trivial meaning between you. Satisfying, meaningful and important relationships are built on a significant amount of two essential ingredients: time and meaning.

With the advent and explosion of social media do you feel more connected, more satisfied in your ability to meet your basic need for love & belonging?

I’m happy to be able to keep in fairly regular contact with my adult niece who lives far away and who I almost never get to see. I’m able to keep an eye on her as I read her latest posts about her cats, social life and political actions. I’m also able to send her interesting posts about the things that she’s passionate about in life. Occasionally she returns the favor by sending me posts and articles that she believes I might care about too.

But the reality is that this precarious connection is not very satisfying. Yes, we are sharing some meaning. And this helps during those few real time meetings that we have. When we get to spend time in the same place we can avoid the strained conversation where we each ask the other whats new. We kind of have that covered by reading each other’s Facebook posts regularly.

Yes, my niece and I have known each other for all of her 34 years of living. And with the help of Facebook we have a better idea about what is meaningful to the other.  My relationship with Sarah is stronger than my relationship with my nephew Lewis. I’ve known Lewis longer because he’s older. But we do not have a Facebook connection. This means we are not sharing any of the meaning in our lives regularly. Now all we have is our shared history. And most of that history was from his childhood.

Oh my goodness! I’ve become that dreaded relative. You know the one I mean. The one who marvels at how grown up he has become and then I regale him with too much information about some subject no one cares anything about!

Our social media my be giving us the false illusion that our lives are filled with friends when in fact many lives are simply littered with people. A screen connection can never replace an actual face-to-face meaningful connection during a shared experience.

But connecting with far away family can be enhanced through the regular and meaningful connection on social media. Facebook will never replace a family reunion. But Facebook is much better then silence and absence that my grand parents experienced.

I never would have dreamed that Facebook would help me with my Mental Health & Happiness!



by Dr. Nancy Buck

Would you like more time in your day and life? Did you know you could create more time? Or are you one of those people who feels you are always running out of time?

Time is kind of an amazing life benefit. Time is the great equalizer, in that not matter how rich or poor, smart of limited, gregarious or reclusive, each person has exactly the same amount of time in each day. There are only 24 hours in every day.

But each person has the ability to become a time shifter. Take control of time by changing your perception of time. Here’s how.

The next time your toddler asks you to read a book, instead of looking at the clock and telling yourself and your child you don’t have time, smile at your child and say “We have all the time in the world for one story. Let’s choose a really good one.”

As you gather your things and yourself together, dashing out the door to arrive at your next important destination on time, stop in your tracks. Stand tall and still, take a deep breath in and release as you close your eyes and tell yourself you have plenty of time to arrive safely and calmly to your next appointment. Smile and step forward into the rest of your day.

On those mornings when you sleep through your alarm and awaken later than you planned and hoped, smile and tell yourself, “I’m so lucky I got the extra sleep I needed this morning. Now let me move ahead into this fine day.”

Are you getting the idea? You are as late or early as you are. But you can change your attitude about adding plenty of time, just the right amount of time, or scarcity and running out of time simply by what you say, think and tell yourself about time.

You can change your Mental Health & Happiness by adjusting your time attitude.

Instead of falling into your own trap of believing in time poverty, make a shift and embrace the wisdom of time abundance and plenty.

How is your relationship with the natural world?

by Dr. Nancy Buck

Are you happy? Did you start today feeling refreshed, energetic, and smiling in anticipation of all the great things planned and unplanned that are waiting for you this fine day?

Oh did you grumble upon awakening, getting up only once you’ve realized how soon you can get back into bed for a full night’s sleep? Do you crave one more cup of coffee or Red Bull to help you get through one more meeting, obligation or carpool run? At the end of the day do you drink one more glass of wine to help you unwind and relax from all the stress and strain of getting through your day.

Happy? Who has time to stop and contemplate wether you feel happy? You are fully engaged with all the obligations and responsibilities associated with your life hoping that will lead to your happiness. But who knows?

How about doing less? The suggestion is not that you stop everything in your life . Just consider doing less?

But how can you? Everything is an A1 URGENT priority!


Take a look at your calendar. What is on the schedule for tomorrow? Choose just one thing and cross it off. Make the conscious decision to NOT do that thing. Now in the space where you presently have a hole, write in red ME TIME. You are not allowed to put anything else in that space.

Tomorrow, when the ME TIME arrives, go outside, find a tree and site or stand under it. Look up and breathe in. (Use an umbrella if it’s raining) Now breathe out slowly. Continue this process as you slowly bring your gaze to eye level. Slowly turn around 365 degrees, looking all around you. Now caste you gaze down and look all around.

Before your appointed ME TIME ends, look at tomorrow’s calendar and decide what one thing you will eliminate and replace with your ME TIME. Tomorrow, can you plan ME TIME that will have the same potential of connecting you to the outside world as today’s tree time did? If you can, then do it. If you can’t then plan more tree time using a different tree in a different location.

If you want to improve your Mental Health & Happiness consciously build in more time connecting yourself to the natural world daily. Choose to replace one or more of he A1 URGENT items on your “to do” list with what really is important — developing, improving and maintaining a relationship with yourself and the natural world.