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Musings: How We Spend Our Time…

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“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau

Musings: How We Spend Our Time…

Musings: How We Spend Our Time…

This is the beginning of a new day.
God has given me this day to use as I will.
I can waste it or use it for good.
What I do today is important, because
I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes,
this day will be gone forever,
leaving in its place something
that I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain, not loss;
good not evil; success not failure;
in order that I shall not regret
the price I paid for it.
Author Anon

Who has ever felt they had all the time in the world to do everything? Why do we agonize over time so much? Perhaps, if we focus on the present and make peace with what we have accomplished, it wouldn’t terrorize us?  “I don’t think of the past. The only thing that matters is the everlasting present.” W. Somerset Maugham  Are we present? Enjoy the poetry and touching story below.

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” M. Scott Peck

Musings: How We Spend Our Time…

The Importance of Time (a touching short story by Bob Perks: )
A young man learns what’s most important in life from the guy next door. It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future and nothing could stop him.
Over the phone his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.”
Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.
“Jack, did you hear me?”
“Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.
“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.
“I loved that old house he lived in.” Jack said. (Contd below)

What do we do to remind ourselves that time is so valuable to us? Then, what do we do about that fact? When I hear someone say “I frittered my time away,” I want to ask them: What would you have done differently? If given those hours again, what would you do? Most of us would do nothing differently. “Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn.” Delmore Schwartz  What do we mean by sooner or later, it catches up/burns us…?

“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” Anthony Robbins

Musings: How We Spend Our Time…

Musings: How We Spend Our Time…

“You know, Jack, after your Father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.
“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said, “I wouldn’t be in this business if it wasn’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important. Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own and most of his relatives had passed away.
The night before he had to return home Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.
Standing in the doorway Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture…Jack stopped suddenly. (Contd below)

When do we decide we have had enough with our procrastinating ways? Does it even matter to imagine that we’ve spent our busy time on buzzing — aimlessly? I think it is okay to have downtime, to just sit and do nothing. But lets own that nothingness and enjoy it. “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. Do we always have plans for every minute of our day? Really? Think again…

“Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what’s real.” Sara Paddison

Musings: How We Spend Our Time…

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.
“The box is gone,” he said.
“What box?” Mom asked.
“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was, ‘The thing I value most’,” Jack said.
It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.
“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said, “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read. (Contd below).

Where do the hours and minutes go when we are having fun?  having a horrid time? Why does the clock slow down when we are going through hell?   When we take a project and divide it into chunks, the small details finally connect with the big picture. “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.” Lord Chesterfield How does time play out in our lives?

“A wise person does at once, what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times.” Baltasar Gracian

Musings: How We Spend Our Time…

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The package was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.
“Mr. Harold Belser” it read.
Jack took the package out to his car and ripped it open. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.
“Upon my death please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I value most in my life”. A small key was taped to the letter. His heart raced as tears filled his eyes. Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.
Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:
“Jack, Thanks for your time! – Harold Belser.”
“The thing he valued most…was…my time.”
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant, asked. “I need some time to spend with my son,” he said. “Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time”. © Bob Perks

For everything, there is a season. A time for every event under heaven…
A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:1–8

How do we spend our personal time? If we didn’t have commitments to family, jobs, blogs, and heaven knows what, what would we do with our time…? Sleep? Thank you for your time!
♥What are your thoughts? How do you spend your time? Do you wonder if you are making the best use of it? When do you think you’ll ever have the time to do…X? Do share! ♥Happy ♥Get ♥Fit ♥To ♥You! 🙂 Thank you. 😉

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… I make no excuse for time. Thank you all for your patience! 🙂

This post was inspired by a prompt from Plinky: How do you spend the majority of your non-work/school time?

Positive Motivation Tip: Time can be tyrannical or helpful… We must master it or make peace with how we use it…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Candlelight clock, Huldenberg clock, Woolton Woods, Loews Jersey City clock, Cathedral of Muenster astronomical watch, Kyburg SchlossBaretswill clock, via Wikipedia Or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

37 Comments leave one →
  1. 20/02/2012 12:34 am

    In a Dark Time by Theodore Roethke

    In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
    I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
    I hear my echo in the echoing wood–
    A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
    I live between the heron and the wren,
    Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

    What’s madness but nobility of soul
    At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
    I know the purity of pure despair,
    My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
    That place among the rocks–is it a cave,
    Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

    A steady storm of correspondences!
    A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
    And in broad day the midnight come again!
    A man goes far to find out what he is–
    Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
    All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

    Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire.
    My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
    Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
    A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
    The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
    And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

  2. 20/02/2012 1:27 am

    This is a brilliant post. A sharp reminder for me personally that I do not make the most of the time I am given. Thank you for taking the time to share this!

  3. 20/02/2012 3:05 am

    “It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants.” (Thoreau) – yes and Lichtenberg said: Oh humans are busy like bees… – there are some philosophy projects with SLOW DOWN slogans, exercises, reflections …

  4. 20/02/2012 3:43 am

    I really appreciate this post, Elizabeth! I realize that many of my posts, in one way or the other, either directly or indirectly, have to do with time. How much we have or don’t, and what we do with what we have (or don’t!).

    Always a good to remember that now is precious, that it is valuable and worth spending wisely. You opening quotation, “the price I paid for today,” was one of my Mom’s favorites, and she had a cross-stitched piece with that poem on it hanging on the wall in her home for as long as I can remember. So true. Sometimes we receive the gift of time. But as much as we might enjoy the gift of it, it is more important to just take it.

  5. 20/02/2012 6:00 am

    It seems that the ways we chose to spend our time can be a literal and figurative act of killing time.

  6. 20/02/2012 6:13 am

    Just love your Mirth and Motivation blog…. As a new old blogger – or should that be an old new blogger – I would welcome a leg-up from M&M and Mecannylad are so contradictory yet so much alike; I find the mix of musings so fascinating.
    Thanks in advance for any help and support you can afford me with my blog.

  7. 20/02/2012 8:22 am

    I think most of what humans do is just “busy work” . . . we’re like residents of a huge Ant Farm building tunnels to nowhere. 😀

    We need something to do while we’re here . . . so we pretend to ourselves that the “tunnels we’re building” are important.

  8. Bree permalink
    20/02/2012 8:25 am

    I love your idea of making peace with how we spend our time instead of agonizing over it. That is the blessing because time lost or spent is gone forever.

  9. 20/02/2012 9:57 am

    I’ve never been very good at doing nothing without feeling a bit guilty. I’m trying to fix that. It’s a process.

  10. 20/02/2012 11:32 am

    Wonderful quotes as always. I try to live in the moment. Simple as that.

  11. 20/02/2012 2:12 pm

    Beautiful and inspiring post, Eliz…and LOVED the photos of all of the clocks.:)
    The story was very moving…your dividing it up with other stuff in between is brilliant…it creates a lot of anticipation!
    Most of us have problems with time…some are bored and think time moves too slowly…others are too busy and feel they don’t have enough time. I’ve always been kind of hard on myself and feel “guilty” if I am not doing 2 or 3 things at the same time…I can remember when my children were small and in bed for the night, I would pull out the ironing board and iron my husband’s shirts while talking on the phone, holding it between ear and shoulder (no wonder I got stiff necks…this was before cell phones and blue tooths) while the TV was on with a show I had wanted to watch. 🙂

  12. 20/02/2012 2:20 pm

    Beautiful post! I love Jack’s story. Having my granddaughter so much is teaching me new ways to appreciate time:
    – Time to watch her growing and learning
    – Time snatched for chores and writing when she naps
    – Time to play with her and let her know how loved she is
    – Time to read while I hold her when she’s cranky
    I had forgotten how precious so many moments are!
    As always, thanks for the reminder, Elizabeth!

  13. 20/02/2012 2:47 pm

    Beautiful tower Clocks 🙂

  14. 20/02/2012 3:07 pm

    Elizabeth, I found your blog through Vivian. I love your words and photos.
    We have collected clocks for over 40 years and I appreciated the beauty you captured.

    • 20/02/2012 9:02 pm

      Oh Thank You so much for your feedback… I was searching Wikipedia for clocks and came across a bounty of them… I still have to find a gold pocket watch for the conclusion to the story. I love to look at clocks and watches; especially antique ones. 🙂

  15. 20/02/2012 3:10 pm

    Inspiring and thought-provoking. Thank you for making us take a moment to reflect. We really only have the moment. The past is gone and the future doesn’t exist. Excellent post.

    • 20/02/2012 9:08 pm

      Thank you for your comment… You know, I was trying to make sense of my concerns about time, and I wrote the post to help me let go of the rigidity we often create with/around time. 🙂

  16. 20/02/2012 4:46 pm

    Great post. I loved the story about Jack. I’m a procrastinator – not fond of admitting it – but sometimes there are advantages in procrastinating so I found “I think it is okay to have downtime, to just sit and do nothing. But lets own that nothingness and enjoy it” inspiring. When a favorable outcome results in spite of my procrastination (or wait and see attitude) I do reflect upon it and surmise that it was meant to be. I find it hard sometimes to “be still and know” when the world tells me to take action and seize the moment. I moved on the wrong advice at the wrong time and it cost me in time and money. I’ve learned lessons throughout my life and now I tend to err on the side of “be still and know”. I really like the Anthony Robbins quote. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  17. 20/02/2012 10:00 pm

    Such a great post! I love the story and the message. My time is my most valuable asset and above all else I would give and try to give it to my minis not just because I am their mama, but because I genuinely enjoy them and being with them. It took a lot to even have this opportunity so I suppose that’s exactly how I see the time, as an opportunity.

  18. 20/02/2012 10:38 pm

    What a great reminder.. I have to admit I had not been very careful in spending my time. I have more free time now than ever but sometimes I’m guilty of not spending it wisely…

  19. 20/02/2012 11:40 pm

    often heard this soothing lyrics on funerals,
    when a personal time had come to an end:
    For everything, there is a season:
    A time to give birth, and a time to die;
    A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
    A time to kill, and a time to heal;
    A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
    A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
    A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
    A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones;
    A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
    A time to search, and a time to give up as lost;
    A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
    A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together;
    A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
    A time to love, and a time to hate;
    A time for war, and a time for peace.
    – Ecclesiastes 3:1–8
    something similar to the pop song
    “Turn, turn, turn …” ?

  20. Sandra Pera permalink
    21/02/2012 12:33 am

    Thank you for such an endearing story and allowing people to think about the way they spend their time. I have always lived in the moment, sharing my life with what I believe is the most important thing in life and what life is all about, family and good friends. I have never wondering if living in the moment was right because for me it always felt right. I wouldn’t change a single thing good or bad in my life because it brought to where I am. I have a wonderful husband, daughter, son-n-law, grandchildren along with good friends. We always make time for each other as much as possible, (due to an illness which sometimes makes it is hard), and are there to help one another. Wealth, material things, nor fame can buy the most precious thing in life which is what I am so lucky to have . I want nor need anything else. God has given so much to be grateful for,

  21. 21/02/2012 2:14 am

    Very timely given my article of apology yesterday. I’ve had to reorganise my time – 200 unread emails about post notifications was just too many given my circumstances at the moment – I was NEVER going to catch up.

    There IS a time for everything – and sometimes we just can’t fit everything we want to into the same time.

  22. 21/02/2012 5:49 am

    It is a beautiful post, Eliz.. Yes, we should use our time wisely. I have to learn to do so 🙂 Thank you for remind me, Eliz

  23. 21/02/2012 10:08 am

    I know I spend too much time working, but I actually enjoy it. It feels good to check things off my checklist, and constantly push myself. I guess I’m an addict!;)

    Found you on WikiMommy…
    Teaming together for blog performance!

  24. 21/02/2012 11:59 am

    I could not help but think of the reminder, “They also serve who sit and wait.” We must be busy about what Our Creator desires for us,not what others think up or what we feel “obliged” to do!

  25. 21/02/2012 1:28 pm

    “What I do today is important, because
    I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
    When tomorrow comes,
    this day will be gone forever,”
    So good and true; such a lovely poem. And I am guilty of wasting days. But if I do, I need to say: it’s ok, it was my choice. The housework/paperwork will still be there, waiting for another day! 😉
    This was a fantastic post, Eliz! It really hit home with me…and I’m sure most everyone can relate in some way. I loved the story about Jack…had tears at the end. I really liked the way you separated the story too. The clocks were wonderful! Such different ones! Thanks for this very important and thought-provoking post!

  26. 22/02/2012 12:39 pm

    Excellent post! Wonderful selection of clocks to represent your words and thoughts. Time is a sometimes elusive friend. It manages to slide by while we’re busy doing other things, it seems. One thing I’ve come to realize, there isn’t enough time in the average day.

  27. 22/02/2012 8:38 pm

    Nice post. Very reflective 🙂 Thanks for sharing 😀

  28. 22/02/2012 9:55 pm

    Been thinking a lot about time lately. Not sure where the days go. I’m blogging less but can’t seem to keep up with my reading. I seemed to get a lot more done when I had a lot to do. Interesting, isn’t it?

  29. 23/02/2012 6:00 pm

    Lovely story Elizabeth and thanks for sharing it with us. Yes we do worry so much about time, where it’s going/gone, what to do with it, do we have enough etc etc. But we all have 24 hours in each and every day to spend as we choose.
    And please bear with me as I read through all the posts sitting in my inbox.

  30. 24/02/2012 7:31 am

    Eliz, your posts are always so thoughtful and inspiring. I often wonder how you find the time to gather your wonderful stories and photographs. Eliz…thank you for your time!

  31. 03/03/2012 3:08 pm

    Thanks for your visits Eliz and the precious time you spend reading our posts and sharing you thoughts . . . to answer your question about my failure to visit you, I’ve been plagued with computer problems that asks me to reload, but it usually doesn’t and I *gasp, give up. It’s erratic so today, I think is a good day.:) I love this piece you wrote on how we spend our time. I do have to work on getting better time management on blogging. How you do it with posting and visiting always amazes me! Thank you Eliz, and I will get around to contacting WordPress hopefully soon.


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