Another month has come and gone and as I turn the page of the calendar a brand new month and year stare me in the face. Funny, isn't it, how ritualistic we all become over time. Every year at about this time nearly everyone I know says something to the effect, "Where did the time go?" Even funnier, when you think about it, the minutes, hours, days, weeks and months of 2010 actually passed no more slowly nor quickly than did the previous twelve months. Yet, it does seem as though time continually picks up speed with each passing year. Why?
All of us get caught up in the superficiality of life. Our days are passed with endlessly meaningless tasks that we assign meaning to because we all want our lives to actually mean something. So, as a result, we funnel our attention to trivialities such as the things we possess, not realizing that many of them actually possess us. We take for granted the precious minutes that are allotted us and become impatient when the clock doesn't move quickly enough for us. As we watch the time, urging it to move more quickly, we squander the here and now of the passing moment even though in reality that is all we have.
We go about doing things rather than being ourselves. In our society, if we aren't busy, we aren't being productive and, therefore, are not contributing anything important to the world. But just doing something to be doing it leaves us empty, without direction. To be ourselves means that we have to know ourselves and there is precious little time in our lives for that what with all the doing that's going on! We become bystanders to the parade of life rather than intimate participants and as the parade passes us by, so does life.
This new year is a perfect time to discover what it means to be! What exactly does it mean to be a human being. Are all we are is what we do? Or are we something far more complex than our actions? This may sound like the ramblings of a middle aged man seeking direction in his life, but I can assure you that in talking with many friends and acquaintances about this subject, I am not alone.
All of us wants to get the most out of each moment that we live and breathe. We have it within our own power to do just that but it will take courage because it is necessary for us to swim out of the mainstream of life and take in what society sees and non-productive elements of life. Take time with your spouse. Look at them through the eyes that you first looked at them with the first time you saw them. Yes, they have grown older and may not have that youthful charm burning from within, but perhaps, just perhaps, if you try to capture them for what they have meant to you all these years, you will have a better understanding of who they have become and, consequently who the both of you are.
Look at your children. They are the gems of life, yet how often do you lose patience with them as they struggle to grow up in a society that more and more often would deny them the precious years of childhood so they can grow up and earn a decent living? Take them in as they are and see yourself in them. They will never pass this way again and neither will you. Drink in the moment and realize that they are reflections of you and are the hope of our future. Nurture them because they are the greatest gift God could ever bestow upon a couple.
To those whom you call friend, give thanks. Friends provide that necessary balance in life that keeps one from feeling alone. The old saying about us not being able to choose our family but we do have the ability to choose our friends says so much about the value of a trusted friend. They do not have to accompany us on our life's journey. They have volunteered to be our companions and often prove to be our life rafts! Friends, too, are very special gifts from God and one who has a friend has riches beyond anything the world can provide.
So as 2011 gets underway, take your first steps on the path to being true to yourself and your life. Are you happy where you are? Instead of worrying about tomorrow, next month, or next year, live in the moment. Let tomorrow take care of itself. Realize completely that the only thing we have at this moment is this moment! The past is gone and the future is yet to take place. Nothing can be done about either one of them. However, by being in the present and living life to its fullest will make the past more meaningful and the future more hopeful! Don't worry about the things we now call vitally important. Worry about your relationships both with one another and with God. They are truly the only reality that matters. Happy New Year!