There’s a cheap plastic clock on the wall in the bathroom and it ticks loudly. You can hear it down the hall and into the bedroom. The ticking is almost deafening when I stand at the bathroom mirror getting ready to start the day. It’s annoying; but I need that clock. In order to keep on track in the morning, I need to check the time often while getting ready for work so that I get out the door on time.
On time. It’s a constant challenge, an uphill battle, a tug-of-war, and often just ever so slightly out of my reach.
Our lives are run by the clock. We have to get up on time in the morning to get to work or school on time. We have to complete projects by a certain time, be on time for meetings, and finish a few things up by the end of the work day.
And it’s not just work. It’s social time, too. We schedule times to meet friends or times for activities. We go out for dinner at a specific time. We plan evenings around the time of TV shows (well, maybe not so much anymore.)
But time is fleeting. We don’t always value time, and we don’t always invest time in something that will reap a reward later on.
Life is a rush to get from place to place and to jump from one thing to the next. The older I get the more I want to slow it down – find more time to relax and enjoy loved ones and friends. More and more often, my mind wanders back to when our children were young and we would spend some very precious time reading to them before bed. Or times around a family dinner table enjoying the company of those who are no longer with us.
We have clocks in almost every room in our home: on the kitchen stove, on the wall in the family room, a grandfather clock lovingly made by my husband’s uncle in the living room, alarm clocks in the bedroom (yes, multiples), and that loudly ticking clock on the wall in the bathroom. They constantly remind us that we are either on schedule or running late. But they never give back what we really want most: more time with those who count.
Each earsplitting tick is calling me, begging in fact, that I become a little stingier. I will freely admit to a growing sense of greed if it means more moments spent with my aging mother and my rapidly growing daughters.
That very loud clock on the wall makes me think, and now it needs to make me act.