The last two years our daughter’s birthday gift to her dad has been a day of fishing just for the two of them. That gift of time has been an opportunity for them to make memories together. “What is important to me,” our daughter told her dad, “is time to be with you.”
If a 26-hour day is on your Christmas wish list, you won’t find that in your stocking or in a beautifully wrapped box under the tree because you are the only person who can give yourself the gift of time. Conversely, you can use the gift of your time to make a difference in the lives of others.
While those who are still working don’t have as much unscheduled time as retired folks do, it isn’t hard to find examples in both groups of people who use their time wisely and others who fritter their precious hours away. If you really want more time, answering these questions is a way to start your search for it.
What do you want to do that you don’t have time to do?
Only you can answer that question and you may have to consider it carefully for a week or more to get beyond the surface and plumb the depths of your soul. Why? Because it is very easy for us to deny our unfulfilled dreams when we don’t think we have the time to pursue them. Make a list of what you’d like to do if time wasn’t a factor and your sidelined needs will probably jump off the page when you see them in writing.
What changes can you make in your lifestyle to give yourself the gift of time?
You are the only person who can really answer that question as there are more ways to waste time than we can list. Here, too, you need to understand the impact your own choices and habits have on your use of time. Two things to consider as you begin to observe your own lifestyle time usage are housework and electronic gadgets.
As for housework, it will eat up as much time as you give it and then the next thing you know, you have to do it all over again. My husband says if our house is too clean, I’m spending my time doing the wrong things. Are you?
There is probably no greater time-waster today than electronic communication devices. Whether we’re talking about the internet, our magical phones that keep us connected wherever we are, or the television that lulls us into watching it for hours on end, turning them all off for a set period each day will do more than anything else to help us find “lost” time.
Who needs your gift of time?
Though we expect our loved ones to live forever, no one does. Nor do children stay little forever. The way to avoid regrets is to find time to spend with the ones we love now.
The time to read to a child, go for a walk together, play hide and go seek, or simply give them a hug is now. The time to write a note to sick or widowed friends to bring a sense of normal to their lives is now. The time to invite your friends to dinner, or do that volunteer work you’ve been thinking about is now. The time for making memories is today.
While we normally talk about giving in relation to our financial resources, as this year draws to a close we invite you to give yourself the priceless gift of time in all the days that lie ahead.
Thank you for your interest in giving and for taking the time to read this.
Blessings for your journey through time,