I don’t know what it was like parenting before social media. I don’t know who reminded all of those parent out there what their children looked like a year, two years, or even 6 years ago. I had a picture pop up (thanks a lot, Facebook) to remind me how in the blink of an eye, your rambunctious 3 year old is suddenly, without warning, a 9 year old that has to remind everyone to follow the rules: or else.
We say phrases a lot, in a way of acceptance sometimes. For example: “in the blink of an eye”. Time has so many idioms about it that we just think it’s okay, it’s normal to let it all slip away because that’s what it does; to allow moments to pass us by, well, because time is a fickle mistress. We are all living on borrowed time, or try to buy time.
We allow the language of it all to fool us into thinking that its normal for time to escape us, to not have time to catch our breath. Or many breaths for that matter. Time is our scapegoat.
The funny thing about time is that we really don’t know how much of it we all have. Life is a beautiful journey that is often spent chasing bigger, better things. So much so that we run out of time to do what’s really important: impact people’s lives.
There are many people out there who view life totally differently than I do, and that’s okay, it takes all kinds to make the world go ’round, right (since we have used so many idioms and cliches so far, I figured why stop)? There are people who think, “I don’t have time to help other people, I need to help myself!”
And while that’s true to an extent; we do need to help ourselves before we help others, the time excuse is just that: an excuse. We have the time, we just have not made it a priority.
People will claim they don’t have the time to workout. The time for others. The time to get together with family. The time to cook healthy foods. The time to sit together as a family to eat supper. The time to read the Bible. The time to worship. The time to help a friend. The time to listen to the drama. Time to do what we love.
That’s incorrect. We all have the same 24/ hours in a day. While our days on this earth may be different, the time in the day is the same. Stop blaming time, and rework your priorities.
In a bittersweet moment seeing my little spitfire of a daughter 6 years ago, I smiled and shed a tear, all at the same time. I realize that it’s not TIME that has escaped me, it’s my priorities. Ouch, that hurt. I have not always made my kids my priority. And when I say that, I don’t mean by spending all of my last dollars on them, I mean spending the time on them.
We cannot stop time; we cannot control how quickly time moves; we cannot control how quickly they grow; we cannot control who they become; we are not in control of a lot of things.
Yet, we like to try to maintain complete control.
I have found that the more I try to maintain complete control, the less time I have to spend being in the moment. I have learned that feeling out of control is normal. I have learned to accept the things I can change, let go of the things I can’t, and the courage to tell the difference. (How’s that for cliche?) I cannot control who my kids become. I cannot control what my house looks like 100% of the time. I cannot always control what my kids eat. I cannot control their thoughts. I cannot control their actions.
I can only control mine. I can only control how I treat others and hope that they learn from that. I can only help shape their lives by showing them what a healthy relationship looks like:
Relationship with God.
Relationship with my spouse.
Relationship with my children.
Relationship with strangers.
Relationship with my family.
Relationship with food.
Relationship with myself.
In the bitter sweetness of it all, I realize how much I’ve messed up, but how much good I’ve done. To think of one without the other is a detriment to the time I’ve spent on this earth. We need to own it all, reflect on how we can improve, and learn from what time (and Facebook) is teaching us.