1. By the end of this post, you’ll have had the chance to view your time and your priorities in a different light, which could be life changing, if this perspective affects you the way it has me. I want you to know that up front. Because I know you’re busy.
2. By the end of this post, you’ll also know a couple of very important, personal things about me, that I haven’t shared with my pentozen.com readers. This is a new site, and the blog has gone through transformation over the past few months… I’ve been authentic, but lately, I haven’t shared much. There’s a reason for that and I’m about to tell you.
The universe has been a real wench with me about the topic of time lately, and busyness, and business. So much so, that I had a couple of other, more “useful” posts for you in the last few weeks, but as we see here, I didn’t write them (yet), and now I’m writing this one instead. Let’s give you some background.
I am always too busy.
So busy. Never caught up and never happy with my state of being because I never feel accomplished enough and I always feel behind, even though I am extremely productive with a vital role in a close family, a couple of businesses and always a new one in the works, a home, community, friends, hobbies, dreams and oh yeah–health… trying for wellness inside and out… So. Want to shut me up as bad as I do?
Honestly, I am Zenny. At heart.
Yet time never seems on my side, no matter how much I enjoy singing along with Mick about it.
Good thing I have a freakishly high, naturally renewing, internal energy source. (We suspect the keyboarding motion might be the secret to the recharging.)
And then my mom died. About six weeks ago at the time of this writing.
Time isn’t on anyone’s side.
My mom was a six-year ovarian cancer survivor. She had been struggling with her bowel and her back pain lately, but she was still active on chemo, and only 71 years old. We weren’t thinking death was near. Things changed suddenly after Christmas. Her body became too weak for all its suffering. Then, the decision to start hospice, to offer what we all thought would be months of relief, turned out to be a couple of weeks of rapid decline.
She died peacefully, eventually, but honestly, the trip to that point was very rough on all of us. We’re taking it pretty hard. Especially my dad. They were married 53 years. He’ll never be the same… and I suppose, neither will I.
I’m not keeping the same kinds of lists… they’re more scattered. I have extra To-Dos now, planning for the second memorial (they live in two states) and writing the thank-yous, going through clothes and pictures… Crying.
Crying takes time, but that’s not something you put on your list. Nor any other number of distractions. You don’t count all the conversations you need to have to feel better as “To-Dos.” You have to make time for them, though. I still need to do stuff for my job(s) and I still need to take care of myself, too. But I’m having trouble putting things in the right order.
Today, I finally figured out why.
I don’t want to do unimportant things.
Not since my mom. Because I saw the concentration of “time” in her unexpected final days.
Many things were painful to us, her loved ones, who would survive her, that she could not “do” because she was dying. We cried so much about this. She had just gotten new counter tops, and barely had time to enjoy them. She never even saw the flat screen TV she picked out. It was on layaway, then she went in the hospital, then to hospice. We picked it up with my dad in time for Super Bowl. She asked how it looked… in fact, she didn’t see Super Bowl, but she asked who won the game. She already had a far away look in her eyes by then.
There are countless examples. The clothes she didn’t care about or wear. Her make up or hats. She wasn’t watching cooking shows, or doing crosswords…As these things lost their importance in her days, it hurt us, because we felt ourselves losing her. But I see now: These are things we bring into our lives to occupy us. They are how we spend our time. We were losing her, but not because she stopped spending time caring about all that stuff. It didn’t matter.
Here’s what did matter, when all else was falling away, and time was increasingly short for my mom: how beautiful it was outside. The breeze, the birds, the trees. She wanted those screen doors open.
Us. Her family. Our voices, holding her hand, swabbing her lips, wiping her brow, rubbing her feet and neck. My dad–just the sound of his shoes or him clearing his throat would make her stir, even in her deepest sleep.
And finally, there was how she just needed to calm down. In fact, that was her last request.
Time is a created thing.
I will be sharing my mom’s last request with everyone who will listen, any time I can, for the rest of my life. It took some time, but I was able to help her calm down, with medication and personal attention, and for that I will be ever grateful.
I thought the events surrounding my mom’s death set me back with time, and that’s why I’ve been so “behind.” But somehow, I woke this morning remembering how selective my mom became with her time in the end. You could say she was at her most vulnerable, as far as time goes, because she was running out of it. But no, she literally was making the most powerful choices with her time, wasn’t she? The idea of NOW is crystal clear in the end.
Mostly, our time appears to land around what we claim to need and want. Ideally, this would be done based on what we decide is most important to us. I agree with the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu: time is a created thing. And so, if I’ve been busy with business things, or growing into other things, well then look at me. I’m a frisky gal with many interests! Watch this blog space soon for useful topics to prove it.
If I have a problem with this busy state of being–and if you have issues with time as I have had–maybe you can relate: perhaps we can say I’ve been priorizationally challenged.
What I have learned, thanks to my beautiful mother and her graceful strength and conscious exit from this Earth, is that your priorities sort themselves out quite simply when you run out of time.
But you don’t have to wait for that to happen. Life is for the living. Just remember, ultimately, time itself takes you nowhere, except to your own quest for calm.
It’s always now. Spend it on what’s important to you. I’m going to get a VA or something I swear. ;-)
Want to chat about this? Please comment! I’d love to connect with you more on writing, too–subscribe to post updates or get my CopyMaster eBook (free) at right. Peace~Faith