Minutes, hours, days, weeks and years. Clocks and calendars do the counting for me. I fill my time, take my time, waste my time and lose track of time.Can I really ” take” my time,or “waste ” my time.? I am not sure, but I am certain that time adds up to be my lifetime. When I am crafting, reading, or writing I often feel that I step out of time. I am often surprised how much time may have passed while I was occupied. As Roger’s dementia was progressing, I was painfully aware that each moment brought new losses and more grief. In each situation, a minute was 60 seconds long, and a day was still 24 hours, but my experience of time was very different.
For the last few months , I have used a lot of my time in conflict with the board of my HOA. My friends, my son, and my sisters might tell you I have been obsessed with this conflict. I hate to admit they are right. I got angry about an injustice to a homeowner, and I set out to prove that I am right, the board is wrong. And while I was at it, I organized a meeting with the board where homeowners could express their grievances with how the board and property manager were not doing their jobs. It was like I jumped into a lake with dirty water contaminated with anger, resentment and righteous indignation. When I got out of the water I carried all these nasties on my skin, and a shower could not wash them away. I was unaware how they infected my life. I wrote letters, speeches and perfect retorts in my head. I vented in emails and I hit the send button. I made lots of phone calls to gather information to prove how right I was. This was how I spent my time when I wasn’t crying in frustration. I actually resigned from the board this spring because I felt shamed at 3 different meetings and each time I went home crying. What was my first clue that this was a toxic group for me!?
Last week, I went to an evening Alanon meeting. When I got home, a nasty email from the board president welcomed me. I had to respond..take this, and this…and you are so wrong! I kept rewriting it to get the right amount of sarcasm. After an hour of this, I stopped and reconsidered. It felt like someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to look at what I was doing. My dog’s beautiful eyes were watching me and I wasn’t paying attention to him. I was hungry and tired and wanted to eat and chill out. And here I was writing a nasty email so that I could “win” a battle of words. What is the truth? Likely the president and I both have bits of truth and bits of misinformation. I am sure of only one truth, I want to spend my time doing what I love. Resentments and judgements steal my time and poison me. Every moment with Roger I tried to focus on him and make a connection. Those moments are infinite.
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. ~Louis Hector Berlioz