Time is on our minds. We may seem obsessed with time lately. Last week we talked about taking time to work out the process to make a good life. The week before we encouraged you to make time to thank those who support us. Our blog the week before that spoke of memorable moments happening any time, and yet a week earlier we wrote of taking the time necessary to make everyday decisions. Even this week’s Moment of Motivation encourages us, “Don’t let a single second slipped through your fingers. Treat each moment as if it is the best moment in your life. You won’t ever get this one back again.” You might say, we’ve been taking our time to make a timely point about time.
Each day is made of 24 hours and every hour has 60 minutes in it. We all start our days with that same allotment of 1,440 minutes. What we make of them is our decision. Although our days are finite, they offer us infinite opportunities. Even when you feel there aren’t enough hours in the day, there is always enough time for what’s important. The difficult part, sometimes, is deciding what is important – or the most important.
We both live in city settings but near enough to where lakes and wetlands, rivers and creeks are hosting water loving wildlife during their spring relocations. There is a lot of activity there now as geese are preparing to head back north, ducks are moving back from their vacation down south, and turtles are emerging from their winter brumation. Even with all the turtles have to do to reset their land homes for the warmer seasons, they still make time to bask in the sun on a log or at the edge of a lake. For cold blooded animals, the sun’s warmth is literally their life blood. Turtles need warm blood to breathe, eat, and move around. Cold blooded animals get their warmth from their environment so for turtles to get the warmth they need, they must stop whatever they are doing and warm themselves or surely they will stop altogether.
Turtles aren’t the only busy animals this spring. The season itself calls for more activities than we’ve become accustomed to through winter. Spring cleaning, wardrobe shifts, lawn care and yard cleanup, maybe even some time to just sit in the sun. It feels like there aren’t enough hours in any of our days. Every day brings its challenges, and every challenge begs a decision. Sometimes just deciding what to do takes time and the decision almost always involves another decision. That decision is deciding which of the 1,440 minutes will make way for whatever new project comes our way today. And as noted above, the difficult part decidedly is in the deciding.
Let us consider Michael’s current activities which now include packing his entire household for a short move. Of course the difficulty in any move, whether across the country or across the street, is that everything in one location must be transported to the other. The easiest way to do that is to hire a crew of a dozen moving professionals to wrap, pack, and seal everything, load it all into a truck, drive the truck to the new location, unload, unseal, unpack, unwrap, and place everything in its new location. A fine solution for one wealthy enough to hire such a crew. He is not. The wrapping, packing, sealing are his tasks and some in each of his day’s 1,440 minutes until moving day will be spent at those tasks. Those were and will be minutes that might have been spent at work, or exercising, or reading, or visiting family and friends, writing or calling other friends, catching a movie, catching some minutes of sleep, or maybe just sitting in the spring sun. Some, or all of what time had been used in one, or all of those other activities last month must make way for the new activities this month. Which, when, and how much are the questions he will face every morning until he is faced with the unpacking and unwrapping portion of the move. And then, likely by some other project he has not yet even considered.
No matter how much we tell ourselves we can add to our days, nor how much we want to try to fit into our days, there will never be a day with more than 1,440 minutes. That’s all we get. That’s all anyone gets. Once those minutes are used up, today becomes tomorrow. Anything that wasn’t done today pushes into tomorrow and takes over some of that day’s set of allotted minutes. Tomorrow won’t have more than the standard 1,440 minutes and anything not done, including the holdovers from its yesterday then move into yet another tomorrow and that day’s 1,440 minutes. And so on, and so on, and so on.
We should be more like turtles and make time to stop and soak in the sun. But then, it is easier for them to take time out from whatever they are doing. It’s in their blood.