Welcome to my weekly highlights of bravery! If you’ve landed here by mistake, maybe it’s for a reason. Maybe you should read on and start your very own act of bravery. If you’re not quite ready yet, still read on and be inspired by my own attempts at bravery (or at least laugh, cry, or cringe along with me). Hopefully, one day, these tiny steps will lead us both closer to living smack in the middle of our dreams.
Time marches on.
Right? Where has all the time gone? A few months ago, I dropped my baby off for her first day of high school. What? Not possible. But it is. It happened. I don’t know how all these days get used up and cast aside. It reminds me of the day I realized death was unnatural.
I was ten, in fifth grade, when my Grandma Gray died. During that week of funeral preparations, I remember running errands with my mom, and we talked about death. I understood the permanence of death, but I couldn’t grasp why, when our bodied stopped working our souls left, ceased to exist.
Even now, twenty-nine years later, this doesn’t make sense to me.
How can time be so linear and so unforgiving and merciless? How can death rob us of our personhood, our identity on this earth?
I don’t get it.
All these seconds that add up to minutes that add up to hours and days and weeks and years and decades. Just the thought of it makes me a little crazy. I want to hoard them all, to spend every second in absolute bliss or purpose or meaning.
But we don’t do that. I don’t do that.
I spend a lot of time numbing my senses and emotions from the ruthless effects of time. And after I do, I regret it. I’m not talking about wine binges or drugs. I’m talking about being too physically or emotionally tired to do anything. I’m talking about being a couch potato on a Netfilx spree or hiding in a book or tuning out on social media. I’m talking about letting all those seconds click by without even a nod to their preciousness and worth.
In other words, I’m taking those moments for granted.
But how to stop? How do I cup all those seconds in my hands and savor them? How do I remember to cherish them when I’m dead tires or in pain? When I feel so overwhelmed that one more request will make me melt into a useless heap on the floor? What would it even look like to try?
I think slowing down and paying attention is the first step. And, I guess by being present, by being vulnerable, by living wide open. By accepting where I am, the seconds I have left, and changing my attitude from “never enough” to “just right”.
Just right embraces, it cherishes, it sees, and is open to the possibility of life staring back at me.
Just right changes perspectives.
What if time is a gift? What if all these seconds I have are twinkles of God’s love for me, meant to be spent in joy and wonder? Even when I don’t know how to climb out of the hole I’m stuck in.
What if instead of pushing God’s gift away, fighting it with every ounce of my strength, I embrace it?
What would happen if I regarded my moments with the awe of a child?
Time would still march on, but would it slow down?
Just a theory, I might be brave enough to try.