“Only time will tell how much I love you,” was the inscription on the gold pocket watch my mother gave to my father as a token of her affection and commitment on their wedding day. Almost thirty-four years later, the watch still ticks at an even beat as do both of their hearts together. It’s their love that surpasses time, not the other way around.
One year is coming to an end, another one is about to begin… just as always. There is security in knowing that the flip of the calendar from December 31 to January 1st brings this natural change. Time is actually relative and helps humans find order and structure. It helps us arrange our days and nights and creates a system of progression. Just as our birthdays do, it marks the end of another year of life to start another one anew; we can note physical and mental differences in our being as nature takes it course…marching forward.
But what if time was only viewed as a structure of organization? Perhaps it could ease the sense of urgency, but could allow us to grow and expand into our highest potential on our own accord. Of course this is not to devalue time’s importance and universal use, but rather merely highlighting its linear form. Life certainly is not followed in a straight line without deviation. We have the choice to veer off the path, turn left around the bend, and take the scenic route rather than the highway.
It’s probably fair to say that each and every one of us has a love/hate relationship with time. The time we wait for a text or phone call after a first date makes time feel unbearable. But when the second date invite arrives, it becomes a moment of thrill and excitement. Or after taking an exam — medical or scholastic and waiting for results. Depending on its importance, increases the discomfort in the waiting period. Needless to say, the results can either want to motivate and plunge us further into the future for continued success or make us want to return in the past before having learned something we rather have not.
My father has often reminded me that it’s the anticipation and heightened expectations that causes distress. By embracing the uncertainty of the outcome and not creating a plan for which we believe it should go, it can position us to handle whatever comes our way. By choosing to “delete” the prescribed list of doubt, worry, fear, and judgment we’ve created, we can take a neutral stance that’s more tempered. The pain of disappointment won’t feel as harsh and the unexpected surprise of success will feel well earned and quietly rewarding.
Easier said than done. But with some determination, gentleness for yourself and for others, and accepting that there is always a learning curve, it creates a foundation that allows you to build an inner structure that is strong and durable. You in fact can have the ability to stand the test of time within your lifespan.
Instead of wishing time away or living in its past shadows, New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day will come and go just as any other day does. But we have the choice to start anew on any day of the year that we choose. That’s the true beauty and essence of time.