Time

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I have a new favorite necklace.  Well, it’s “new” to me.  I inherited it from my mother’s best friend’s mother when she passed away this past year.  I don’t know the history of the piece of jewelry, and I don’t know how often it was worn.  I don’t know if it was given as a gift, or if it was inherited from someone’s mother or grandmother.  I only know that it is currently mine.

It is a small hourglass, with real sand, encased in a 14 karat gold setting.  I don’t normally wear yellow gold, so when the piece was given to me, I wondered if I’d ever actually wear it.  I have a three-year old who loves to pull on my necklaces, so I haven’t worn “nice” jewelry in a few years.

But this one necklace seemed to call to me.

One day, I opened my jewelry box, took it out…and held it in my hand.  I tipped it over and over, watching the tiny sand filter slowly through the hourglass.  It was so unusual and unique.  So delicate and feminine.

We don’t often see the hourglass anymore these days.  Everyone has a more modern way of marking time: whether it be a digital clock on the computer, a cell phone, or an Apple Watch.  We rush here and there, always in a hurry and never thinking about the passing of each hour, minute or second.  We make plans for the next day, never wondering if we will actually be alive to see the sun rise in the morning.  It’s just assumed we will be.

I think the reason I am so drawn to this tiny hourglass necklace is because it reminds me that time is short.  We can’t stop it….or rewind it….or fast forward through it.  We only have the Now.  We have this exact second.  That’s it.  That’s all. By the time you finish reading this blog post, you will be in a different place in time than when you started.

It can blow your mind, if you really think about it.

Time is a funny thing.  It can be our best friend, and our worst enemy.

Every single second, someone dies and someone is born.  Children grow up, and adults grow old.  No one gets younger, and no one gets to go forward or backwards.  We are all stuck on the linear roller coaster of time.  No one gets off.  No one controls it. We’re all strapped in for the ride.

I know this is not new and groundbreaking information, but sometimes we need to stop what we’re doing and really think about time.  How much time do we have? No one really knows. Only God knows.

What will I do tomorrow?  I will take my children to school, clean my home, eat breakfast, drink coffee, play with my three-year-old and feed my dog.  I will pick my children up from school, make dinner for my family, tuck my children into bed, do some writing and go to sleep.  I will breathe. I will listen. I will watch. I will wait.

Or will I?

Tomorrow is never a promise.

When I put my hourglass necklace on, the sand always flows to the bottom of the glass….indicating that I am out of time.

Every time I look down at it, it gently reminds me that I need to be more aware of time.  I need to be more aware of my time being over.

I want to enjoy each moment….each grain of sand in my own personal hourglass.  I want to be less stressed, and focus on the blessings.

Even though the previous owner of the necklace has passed on, out of this time….I want to thank her, and her sweet daughter.  Thank you, Ms. Dot and Ms. Patt, for this precious gift.  I will treasure it, and take care of it.  Thank you for reminding me that each grain of sand is falling slowly, and I need to enjoy each and every moment.

I hope everyone will think about their own personal hourglass, and remember that we are not promised tomorrow.

Most of us think ourselves as standing wearily and helplessly at the center of a circle bristling with tasks, burdens, problems, annoyance, and responsibilities which are rushing in upon us. At every moment we have a dozen different things to do, a dozen problems to solve, a dozen strains to endure. We see ourselves as overdriven, overburdened, overtired. This is a common mental picture and it is totally false. No one of us, however crowded his life, has such an existence. What is the true picture of your life? Imagine that there is an hour glass on your desk. Connecting the bowl at the top with the bowl at the bottom is a tube so thin that only one grain of sand can pass through it at a time. That is the true picture of your life, even on a super busy day, The crowded hours come to you always one moment at a time. That is the only way they can come. The day may bring many tasks, many problems, strains, but invariably they come in single file. You want to gain emotional poise? Remember the hourglass, the grains of sand dropping one by one.

James Gordon Gilkey

 

 

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