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
1 thought on “What Time is It?”
In our lives, there are moments we’ll never forget and years that seem to run together. How can that be? Time is an interesting phenomenon. It’s a good question for me to keep asking myself–is something stealing my time or am I honoring my time? Your experience with Roger’s illness gave you a different perception of time, the kind that slows down and simply lives and loves. My goal is to slow down, mostly in my thoughts, so it doesn’t feel like time is rushing by. Thanks!