I don’t know where this year has gone. Since last year at this time, my life has been a response to what has knocked at my door, opened my windows, stopped the clock or started the stopwatch. Time is my friend, it waits for no one, and sometimes it fades into the sunset or some mysterious cavern I don’t choose to explore.
Time. A Paradoxical Adventure. I surmise that when I consciously choose to spend my time with an ideal, activity, or person, I feel present, focused, and fueled for utilizing energy in a causal manner. When I give time, take time or focus on and beyond time—requiring full presence, attention, energy, talent, power, and passion– I become immersed in the relationships created in awakening moments that birth my best self to inspiration, connecting me to my greatest possibilities of becoming. A consciously intentional relationship with time is a great aspiration for me, one I seldom realize on a regular basis. When I get in the “flow” as I call it, time and relationship are one, infinite, beyond measurement or interpretation. Life is. I am one, and all is well with my soul.
This pause is about creating relationship to time and to myself, what I’ve learned, and how this learning has been a blessing to me, especially this year.
Every year in June, the battery in my watch dies. Time stands still until I go to the jeweler to get a new battery for another year. Like clockwork, I’ve known my old Seiko will stop, and if I want it to work so I can measure time with it, I will replace the battery. However, this year, my watch battery died in April. Again, in July. The jeweler told me this was irregular, but that they would give me a new battery free of charge because their batteries were guaranteed for a year. He suggested my watch might be messing up because something was wrong with its mechanism to keep correct time, to keep track of time at all.
2018-2019 has mirrored my experience with my left wrist adorning companion. Last fall we bought a new home. Shortly before that purchase, in August, we chose a Florida condo as a second home to rent when we were back in Indiana and to enjoy when the weather was cold and gray in the Midwest. We had a few health glitches to deal with (I think a “glitch” is kind of like replacing a battery in a watch that stops ticking. Stops time for a while, and then settles into a new rhythmic tic.)
We had a home to sell, another to remodel, and we were dipping our toes into the waters of retirement, growing our snowbird wings of flight and fancy out of no concerted rhyme or reason. Our fall and winter were spent cleaning, moving, settling, replacing, renovating, planting, planning, discovering, and experimenting. Interestingly enough, the time zones of our Florida condo and our Indiana homes differed by an hour, and with daylight savings time, we really were confused.
We would set one of our automobile’s clocks on Indy time and the other car’s clock on central time. Same, too, with our watches. With our moves, every single time mechanism seemed to require batteries, repair, acknowledgement, or a reset. Sometimes, we became confused about what time it was or where time went. Keeping current with time was especially challenging when we traveled out of both time zones for a bucket list trip to France.
This spring we joined a new church. We also attend a different kind of church when we’re in Florida. I am a member of two distinctly different yoga studios. We are meeting new people everywhere, and yet not fully involved, volunteered, committed or routine oriented anywhere because of the contextual constraints time places upon our relationships and memberships.
We spent the entire summer remodeling our new home in Indiana. We hope when we return to Indiana from Florida in a few weeks, the remodel will be almost complete and the holidays, gatherings with family, friends, arrival to home base will be joyful, fun, and settling. All is and will be wonderful, awesome, and spontaneous EXCEPT when the ways I am responding to our experiences of this time conflict with how I truly desire to prioritize my time. My time for stillness, meditation, reflection and writing has been demoted to a timeframe due to “To Do” activity directing my timeline. Choice determines relationship, and I have spent less time with myself this season of transition as I navigate the detours and turns creative experimenting can manifest. I suppose it’s time to sit and savor the beauty of being, goodness, grace, and possibility. Thank you, God.
A conscious choice of time congruently spent requires a relationship to self, values, and the questions: Who am I? What is my dharma? How do I create my best self in this moment of time? We are temporal beings doing the best we can at figuring out this humanity adventure we’ve been gifted in these bodies with which we’ve been given—the bodies that age, get weary, battered and broken; these bodies that serve as temples for our holy spirits and cradles for miraculous possibilities. The time we live with these bodies isn’t really measured in the years we live. Life’s worth is found when we choose to be in relationship to how we spend our time, with whom we spend our time, and all of the choices we make in regard to the whole, what, where, and how of time’s experience. We measure our lives via coffee spoons, activities, dates,” daze”, hours, minutes, and seconds (86,400 seconds we are rationed every day.) until we transcend measurement, judgment, perfection, competition, comparison, pressures, and “have to” edicts related to the when of life. At the moment of transcendence, we flow with what is, into who we truly are.
The clock stops being the relevant witness to our unfolding, and we meld into congruent relationship with what is eternal and timeless, the holiness beyond time, the flow of beginning and beginning again…No batteries needed, the only reset buttons necessary: gratitude and grace.
I accept my life is transitional, and yet, it’s not a race to beat the clock; nor is it about how much I can get done while I’m here. When I remember to be still, to be grateful, to focus on intentional and congruent relationship with God, others and myself, I don’t need to know what time it is, because it’s always the right time with just enough time and not measured in or by time at all.
When I was first diagnosed with leukemia in 1998, my physical wrist watch stopped working and couldn’t be fixed. I went through all kinds of personal time keepers—a cheap Timex and “wind it myself” family heirlooms, but for some reason, no watch would keep time while I was wearing it. I learned to remove my focus on the questions of time and reserve my energy for the questions beyond time—most of which could not be definitively answered, and so promoted my affinity for infinite questioning.
I am grateful to be dealing with the transitions I deal with instead of those I lived with over 20 years ago. A reminder for me to be still and know that all is well and all will be well, no matter what the time. Wherever I am, Good, Love, and Possibility are the keepers of age, time, witness and experience. Thank you, God.