Thursday, March 19, 2020

T I M E

Time is such a strange thing. 
I think as a parent, it is even stranger. You watch someone else's life flying by right before your eyes and there is no way to stop it. No way to slow it down. Some days it goes so fast you can hardly savor it at all. 
Somedays I feel time slipping through my fingers, and I can come out in almost a sense of panic. I have no control over time. It's going to pass whether I like it or not. My kids are going to grow whether I like it or not. I am getting older whether I like it or not. 
I have a terrible habit of thinking about how much longer I have of something, or comparing amounts of time, like next year when my oldest turns 9, her time in our home will be halfway over.

 I don't know why I do this to myself. I think partly because it makes me really believe it. It makes me stop, slow down, savor what I have right now before it passes. Because I know it's passing. Faster and faster every day. 
My husband has talked for years about getting a clock tattoo. I won't try to explain what all it symbolizes to him because I'll botch it, but the jist is that it's a reminder of time for us. 
In this weird pandemic situation we are currently in, so many of us are now finding ourselves with a lot of time on our hands. I am not someone who has a huge problem filling the time right now because 
1) we aren't that far off of our normal daily routine. Yes, activities are cancelled for the foreseeable future, my boys don't have preschool for at least 4 weeks and my girls don't have their homeschool classes for at least that long, and we don't get to venture out places or do things with friends, but the main chunk of our day is the same. We're at home together working on school work, house work, etc. That hasn't changed (except that my husband is home, but working, so we still aren't seeing a ton of him). 

and 2) I'm an introvert. I am a homebody. I love being around people, I love seeing my friends, I love taking my kids to their activities and going to church and bible study and connection group each week, but I also really love being home. I love curling up with a good book, binging a Netflix series, staying in my pjs all day, doing house projects, playing board games, having a movie night with the kids...it isn't hard for me to find things to do at home. 
But the thought of possibly being here with no person to person contact outside of my 5 family members for a month or more is a lot, even for me. An entire month+ at home...that's a lot of time to fill. 
Here's how I see it. I know I am not alone with the panic-y feeling of time passing so fast and wanting to slow it down. I know so many others who feel the same way (parents especially, I think). All of a sudden, we have this time. It's like a gift that's been handed to us suddenly, out of nowhere. A gift of time, of savoring the moments we know will pass too quickly with our children, of having no outside obligations or activities to distract us from the important work of loving our families and building lasting memories with them.

 Time to spend pouring over the Word of God, studying the Bible, praying to God & worshiping Him. Time that we may otherwise spend prioritizing the things of this world, we can now devote to things eternal. What a gift. Time to build relationships. No, we may not be able to have face to face interaction with people, but with technology, we're only a FaceTime away from friends, family members, and loved ones. We now have time to pick up the phone and really have a conversation, building those relationships, loving on those people, where before we maybe couldn't find the time to make that phone call with all that we had going on. Maybe we even have the time to write a letter and mail it! What a gift to have time to build relationships and show the people that we love the most, how much we care. 

For as much as time has burdened me over the last decade or so, it finally feels like a gift. The world is standing still right now and we have the option to complain about it and dwell on how long it feels, or to use it to our advantage, building into things we otherwise neglect. Which are you going to choose? 

It is my hope & prayer that in a few more weeks when we all feel like we're losing our minds (myself included), we can remember this. And that when this is all over, a year, 5, or 10 years from now, we can look back on this crazy time in history with some fondness over the gift of time we received and the benefits and blessings that came from that time. 

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