Time passes. There is nothing we can do about that. We can't stop it. We can't get more. We can't go back. We use it as it comes. The question is, how do we use it? Do we use it well or poorly? Do we waste it? As I mentioned above, I read that book twenty years ago. And the thing that stuck with me through all of these years was that image of time passing and the regret that can come with not using that time well. And yet, how do I use my time? There is a reason we use the phrase "spending time". Like money, time comes and goes. The difference is that we can always find ways to get more money. Not so with time.
So then, how have I been spending my time? As the date stamp makes clear, not by writing reflections on this blog. Does that mean I have wasted the past two years of my life? Certainly not. But do I regret not following through with the posts that I had set out to create? Yes. I do. Don't get me wrong. I have spent the past two years doing lots of excellent things. I continue to teach my boys about life and sports. But I haven't formalized it. I haven't captured my thoughts to share with the good peoples of the internets. I haven't been deliberate about it.
I read an article yesterday and the author mentioned that his life changed when he decided to create something new every day. That is a bold move. But it induces a need for deliberate living. It's so easy to get into a rut. Life is busy. There are bills to pay. There are so many things that tug at our time, competing for it. Cut the grass. Take the kids to their sporting events. Finish the big project at work. Get the groceries. And on it goes. Nothing new here - we all live this. The question is, how do we change it? We have to be deliberate.
Here's an example. My wife saw a picture of a patio table online that she really liked. I agreed to build it. I'm no carpenter. But my father is and I spent a large portion of my youth at his side so I can find my way around the wood shop. Until this project came along and we decided to do it I wouldn't have said I had time for an undertaking like this. But guess what? I'm enjoying it, I care about it and so I'm finding the time. I'm making time for it. It has become a priority. I still have to cut the grass. I still go to work. But somehow I am finding the time to do something extra that is bringing me a little bit of joy.
And that's the key. Again, there is nothing new here. Nike® boils it down to be about as simple as possible with their "Just do it.®" slogan. It really is that simple. The toughest part is choosing to live your life deliberately, rather than letting life just happen. The truth is that everyone lives their lives in fits and starts. We have setbacks. We get sidetracked. We change course. But if we always approach our life deliberately, we won't ever look up and see that while we've "been putting off and putting off, the trees have grown." So I'm going to work at it again. I won't make any empty promises about posting everyday. But I will try to live each day deliberately and find a way to create something each day. Wish me luck.