Today is the one-year anniversary of my dad passing away. So naturally I am thinking about him. I’m also thinking about the memories we built, and about how knowing that towards the end of his life, we knew that he had only a certain amount of time to be with us. Yes, this significantly influenced my own and my families outlook on time. Time in terms of how we would invest it in spending quality time with our dad.
In many ways and looking at a very sad scenario from a positive perspective, I consider us fortunate to have to be cognizant about not taking time for granted. As we know it is easy to do so, and to not make the most of our time each day. This wasn’t the case with our family, as we rallied to make sure we spent as much quality time with my dad when we learned about his fate. I’m not suggesting we wouldn’t have done this if his fate had been different, but being more mindful of his reduced amount of time with us did impact our thinking about time and the choices we would make.
One of the outcomes from my dad passing that related to time was that our daughter accelerated her wedding plans by one year. She and her now husband, made this decision so that her other grandfather and grandmothers wouldn’t have to wait for two years for this event to occur. The wedding occurred on a day when we were experiencing hurricane conditions in the northeast section of the US, but the most amazing thing was that we only had to contend with wind. Not the rain we were dreading. As the wedding guests were finishing up their dinner, we were graced by a gorgeous sunset, and that was the first time that day we had seen the sun.
Both the lack of rain and seeing the sunset I felt were wedding gifts from my dad that day from above. I felt his presence during the wedding ceremony and reception, and I know that although he wasn’t able to be there, he made his presence known by the magical lack of hurricane rain, and the gorgeous sunset. He was a huge fan of the weather, so I know in my heart he contributed to giving our daughter both a memorable wedding weather day, and one that she and her husband and our wedding guests could acceptably handle.
Due to the fact we were not certain the wedding would occur on the day it did due to the event requiring electrical power, the high winds certainly had us remaining optimistically cautious about whether the power would be knocked out. Again, the fact it didn’t get knocked out I felt was another gift from my dad, and this was truly amazing, as we didn’t exactly have a back-up plan in place. However, I needed to begin making some contingency plans the day before the wedding, but fortunately we didn’t have to put them in place. The only contingency difference was having to switch up our photo locations, which was easy enough to do.
Albeit not the greatest or most welcome gift, knowing that you are faced with having to think about time differently does have its advantages. Certainly, one of them is that if you were taking time for granted, it quickly jolts you out of thinking this way, and which led me to think about today what I could or should be doing differently.
Being mindful of time and how we invest in it isn’t something I feel everyone has a strong grasp of having mastered. Although I do believe it is a skill we can and should become more aware of exceling at. Especially since when we spend and invest in our time more productively, or thoughtfully, I feel like there are many intrinsic benefits from this approach.
So, if you haven’t taken the opportunity to consider what you could or should be doing with either your time, or the direction of your life or career, below are some suggestions I can offer.
- Can you honestly say that how you invest your time daily is contributing to where you want to be, or strive to be?
- Do you feel like you are simply going along in either your life or career and surviving and not thriving? Could this be because you haven’t thought about what you could do differently to change your circumstances?
- We hear people referencing having a bucket list of things they want to do before their time on this planet is up. I think it’s important to have a list of things you want to do, but more critical is factoring in the timing and reality of whether you can accomplish them? Having an unrealistic list might be more harmful for some, while conversely it could be motivational for others. Factor in which side of this equation you might be on, and whether you can or want to change to the other side.
- There are things we know we should be doing, but have you stopped to think about what is truly preventing you from doing them (e.g., eating healthy, exercising, helping others you could be supporting better)?
- When was the last time you prioritized your time from the perspective of how you want to invest in it from a longer-term perspective versus having a day at a time approach?
- Do you know what your motivational factors are which would be driving and influencing your thoughts about how you invest your time?
- If you don’t know what your motivational factors are, what could you do to figure this out to your benefit?
- Is it possible you are taking what I’ll refer to as the “easy road” and not wisely investing your time because it takes effort to accomplish this? Refer to the previous two bullets for potential insight into what might be contributing to your approach. Especially if you are at all inclined to want to invest in how you apply your time differently or better.
Time management is absolutely an element which is woven into the topic of what you could or should be doing, and we can agree that not everyone has mastered this element. However, I’m a firm believer that we all can do so, and I hope you will make an investment in yourself to accomplish this. Why? Because I can assure you it will be worth it, and I say this based on my credibly of having experience with this to back up what I’m suggesting.
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