FOLK Magazine 2013 Journal Challenge: The Meaning of Time

Today’s journal prompt from Folk Magazine challenges us to reflect on the meaning of time by thinking about these questions:  What do you spend your time doing?  Is there something you wish you had more time to do?
Those are loaded questions, aren’t they?  Time is something we seem to take for granted until we realize that we don’t have much left.  The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 that “it is appointed unto man once to die.”  In other words, there is a time and day for each one of us to die.  Whether or not you believe that, you must agree that we will not, cannot live forever.  As time passes, we age.
There was a time (pardon the play on words) when I thought I had an infinite amount of it to spend.  As a child, adulthood seemed too far away to imagine.  There were pie-in-the-sky dreams of having a husband, two kids, and a two-story house with a picket fence, but the reality seemed eons away.  I could hardly wait to be a teenager, but that, too, seemed years and years away.  
Of course, you know the rest of the story.  Thirteen finally arrived, and before long I was bidding goodbye to my high school friends.  College is another example of a period of time that seemed to be frozen.  Would I ever be done with my studies and start “real life?”
How can that be?  How is it that some periods of your life seem to literally drag by while others seem to fly?  For those of you who have raised children, did you notice that the days sometimes seemed neverending, but now that the kids are grown and gone, the years themselves seemed to fly by?  What is that?
For almost 25 years I spent my time caring for my children as they grew from babies to young adults.  For 30 years I spent my days teaching school and my nights cooking and helping with homework.  The weekends were devoted to the kids’ activities, church, and chores.
Then. . .
…and now
And now all that has passed and I find myself in the years of the “empty nest.”  My husband and I juggle his night work schedule with my daytime schedule.  No longer teaching, I fill my days writing, crafting, junking, and catching up on chores and projects I never seemed to have time for when I worked full time.
For all this, I look back on my life as time well spent.  I look forward to more years, hopefully filled with good health, family, and even more fulfillment.
I can’t really say at this point in my life that I wish I had more time to do anything except maybe see my children more often, but I hope to enjoy grandchildren someday!
I have made the commitment to use my time wisely, not to waste it, and certainly not take it for granted.  With middle age has come an appreciation for the brevity of life.  Several years ago we lost my sister’s husband and children in a tragic truck crash.  My mother is recovering from breast cancer.  A friend’s son just died of cancer.  Another friend’s son was killed last year after stopping to help a stranded motorist on the highway. We are not guaranteed more time than we have right now. You never know when your time may run out.
Carpe diem!  Seize the day!

By aencoker

Author, teacher, mom, grandmother, but most of all, Christian.

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