Gift of Time

What will you do with your gift?

As a retiree, you have the Gift of Time. Use it wisely.

Everyone remembers the song by Bobby McFerrin, even if his name isn't familiar to you.... "Don't Worry, Be Happy!"

In every life we have some trouble,
But when you worry, you make it double.
Don't worry, be happy...

If there is one thing you have in retirement -- it is TIME!

Don't waste your precious retirement days... Your Gift of Time!

Do something (anything!) to help your family, your neighbor, the community.

I thought about this when I read this article by Marney Makridakis from Artella. Marney is young and begins about her first child, but the message is definitely appropriate for retirees... it certainly SANG to ME! Read it and consider the Gift of Time you've been given.

I hope you enjoy it! Wendy

Written by: Marney Makridakis from Artella

The other day, I was looking for a quote that I had once heard, about life being like a book. I was delighted to find many quotes to illustrate this idea, such as:

I think of life as a good book.
The further you get into it,
the more it begins to make sense.
–Harold Kushner

Your life is a book and every day is a page.
–Elijah Pierce

A life is like a book…inside and outside,
so, how do you get to what’s inside?
How do you get what’s inside, out?
–Gia (the film)

In the book of life,
the answers aren't in the back..
–Charlie Brown

Later that night, I was reading a pop-up book to little Kai, and it occurred to me that we can think of life as a pop-up book.

When you're looking at a pop-up book, each page is a sensation to behold. You don't worry about how many pages are left, or think about what's to come. You stop to take it all in, inserting yourself into the picture, finding treasures in all the three-dimensional nooks and crannies.

"That is want I want life to be," I realized, as I snuggled closer to my sweet-smelling baby, who thankfully has not yet learned to view time as something we are to worry about.

Indeed, time is one of the biggest things that grown-ups complain about. If you pay attention to the conversations all around you, it's startling how often the subject of time comes up. And while worrying about time seems to be part of our humanity, I wonder… does it need to be?

One of the problems with our linear perception of time is that every day becomes just one of a string of days. We have to take a trip in three months and so we worry about that now. We have an assignment due in three days and so it weighs on our time today. Viewing time this way, we often allow the worries and pressures from the future to reverberate today, like guitar strings humming in a somber key.

It’s a human paradox really, because we often want to escape ourselves and lose track of time, and yet when we become fully aware of the gift of time, we become more present and in touch. I think that a solution lies in becoming less aware of time, but more aware of the present moment.

It's a crime when we allow life to become a series of meaningless days, marred by pressure, overwhelm, and worry. Whether we're having a "good" day or a "bad" day, every single moment actually is equally precious.

Today is just as valuable as that always distant day in the future when we are hoping "everything will finally be easier or better". Each day in our lives, even each part of our day, is a new amazing page in our pop-up book, a multi-dimensional piece of art literally popping up for us to see and, most incredibly of all, become a part of.

So try pausing your rushing mind for a moment at the start of each day, and realize the intricate and fanciful mixed-media pop-up book that you yourself are helping to create. Then, allow yourself to leave everything behind that is not part of this vision, as you would step out of your clothes before diving into a pool of gorgeous tropical waters. Now step into the full grandeur of the possibilities and wonder the day holds.

When we allow ourselves to truly and fully insert ourselves into the best pop-up page of wonder and possibilities this day can offer us, the day and all its precious pages truly come to life, just as we in turn, become fully alive in the pages ourselves.

Thank You, Marney! I couldn't have said it better myself! Time is certainly a huge blessing in our lives... use your Gift of Time wisely.

If you are an artsy person, or a writer, check out more of Marney's world, as I have... she helps develop your creativity in a wonderful way!