A Little Reflection : The Time Keeper | Panama City, Florida
I just got back a few days ago from a very fun, relaxing mini vacation with my husband, sister-in-law, and her husband. It was great to be able to get away for a few days to clear my head, get re-energized, and enjoy time with family.
Vacations always put me in a reflective mood, especially when I'm at the ocean. Am I the only one this happens to? I've been told at times that sometimes I think TOO much, which is probably true, but I love reflecting on life and pondering God's purpose and plans. I've been thinking a lot over the past few months about how short life is and how I don't want to end up looking back on my life and having regrets--over missed opportunities, not taking advantage of spending time with friends and family, getting too caught up and stressed over minor things in life. I'll be the first to admit that too often I allow stress in my life and things that I feel like I "need to do" have a negative impact on things that are most important to me. I've been working on changing that!
Things changed when we had a major scare with my dad a little over a year ago. We thought we were going to lose him due to what the doctors believed to be a brain aneurism. I have never been so close to losing something so important to me, and it shook up my entire world and everything I believed to be important. I realized that what I was constantly stressing over and thinking about (work, money, keeping the house clean, saying yes to everything that came my way, getting caught up in silly life issues, caring what other people thought of me--to name a few!) was keeping me away from what was truly important in life-- those that I love. Yes, I spent time with my family and friends, but I took them for granted and never allowed myself to be fully present and enjoy the time we spent together without my mind being preoccupied by other things. Rushing home from Indianapolis to get to my dad--all I could think about was "What was the last thing I said to him?", "What was the last thing we did together?", "Does he know how much I love him?" Those questions that ran through my mind one year ago are now the questions I think about in reference to everyone I care about. The entire experience completely changed my perspective and view on life. It has led me to make some major life changes so that I can be the happiest, best version of myself, which enables me to be the best wife, daughter, sister, and friend that I can be. When I look back on the time that I spent with those that I love, I don't want to regret not appreciating them more, loving them more, encouraging them more, or simply enjoying my time with them more than I did.
Okay, so I have TOTALLY gotten off topic from what I originally wanted to share-- So I really wanted to read a book while sitting on the beach (and I of course forgot to pack one). Luckily, there was a bookcase full of books to choose from at the condo we stayed at. Right away I saw a Mitch Albom book and plucked it from the shelf. I have always loved his books, plus it looked like a quick read, so it was a perfect choice! The book was The Time Keeper- has anyone read it? I love when I read a book without any expectations, and in the end somehow learn a lesson or have an epiphany of some sort. This was one of those books! I won't give it away, but the main idea was about how the concept of time has evolved and how we now base so much of our everyday life around it.
"There became a quest for more minutes, more hours, faster progress to accomplish more in each day. The simple joy of living between summers was gone." We obviously cannot do away with time.. It's the reality of our world today. We have places to be, appointments to make, and schedules to keep. However, we can do our best to make the most of our time and not take it for granted, especially when it's spent with those that we love or doing something that makes you feel passionately and alive inside.
What happened to my dad was nothing short of a miracle. He was in the hospital about a week and is now back to his crazy, fun-loving self. What they thought to be an aneurism ended up being a spontaneous brain bleed and ran its course on its own. I know how incredibly blessed we are that he is still here with us and I'm so grateful for the lessons I've learned from this experience. It has changed who I am, and for that I am so thankful. Now, I'm obviously still young and very lucky when it comes to what I've experienced and gone through in life so far. I don't have kids yet (and I'm sure that comes with plenty of worries and stressors!), haven't lost anyone that I'm very close with, and haven't had to go through extreme personal challenges. I am by no means trying to act like I've got it all together and figured out. I know that there will be seasons in my life when my beliefs are shaken and my faith is tested. I hope and pray, though, that I can face those challenges with the strength and courage that I've seen so many people in my life exhibit. Those are the people I truly look up to and admire.
In a world that is becoming more fast-paced each day, I want to slow down. Time will continue to fly by, but I want to make a point to enjoy it and not take it for granted. I know my days are numbered, just as everyone else's, and I want to live my life loving and appreciating others, not getting caught up in things that don't really matter in the grand scheme of things.
Okay, I'll end my novel there. :) Do you see why some people say I think way too much? I just can't help it! I'm ending with another quote from The Time Keeper that really stood out to me. I highly suggest you read this book, if you haven't yet!
"There is a reason God limits our days."
"To make each one precious."
Please feel free to share your own thoughts or experiences on this topic. My story is so small compared to that of others. I'd love to hear yours!