Choose Time

Choose Time

From a talk I gave at the UUFSD Fellowship on December 28, 2003

Epitaph at the Crossroads – Piet Hein (in Grooks)

Here lies, extinguished in his prime, a victim of modernity
Yesterday, he hadn’t time. Now he has eternity.

Creative Commons license courtesy unsplash petradr

Creative Commons license courtesy unsplash petradr

The thrill of multitasking is gone for me. I’m not sure whose time I’ve been saving, nor why.

Someone watching me last year might have considered me adept at juggling my Palm PDA, notebook computer, multiple calendars, cellphone, and many tasks. Sure, I can juggle and remain calm in the the juggling. But, is being able to do many things at once something that matters?

I’ve learned a lot of truth about time from my children

I mentioned something to my youngest daughter – “Time keeps everything from happening all at once.”
Her response – “cool!”
If everything happened all at once we would miss out on a lot.

From my oldest daughter – fully absorbed in the here and now. I can learn from this.

The quality and qualities of time

I’ve reached a point there I savor quality of time over quantity of time.
I choose to align my time and use of time with my principles and preferences.
I’m finding it more fulfilling.

I’ve learned from Voluntary Simplicity that less is more. Fewer commitments & less complexity means more richness and depth.

Going back for seconds

Seconds – Lyrics by Cat Stevens

So on and on I go, the seconds tick the time out
There’s so much left to know, and I’m on the road to find out

I’ve started taking extra seconds on the phone or in person to listen a bit longer.

I’m spending an extra part of a second looking into someone’s eyes.

This going back for seconds is like getting second helpings at dinner. Amazing and delicious!

Also, taking a few more seconds brings me more openness. Instead of settling for my initial judgment, I’m asking for more. It’s delightful and rewarding.

Now I realize, I’ve been missing a lot.

Timeview reflects worldview

Time is the ultimate reflection of our faith.

If some alien explorers studied our culture, they’d think we worship time, simply based on the vast number of timepieces adorning nearly every room and wrist.

Time is closely tied to our worldview.

Some feel there is not enough time in the world. This sort of view applies to money, food, love, and other things, too.

There is enough – also in alignment with our core beliefs.

Those that like order, such as science and many worlds’s religions, like time passages marked by phases, celebrations, rituals.


I thought about saving up time and money to have a retreat. I considered taking a month in the Andes, or weeks in the Sierras, or some other exotic destination off the grid.

On further thought, though, I realized there is no “away”.

I’ve decided, instead, to be mainstreaming – to integrate aliveness, exploration, changes, and fun into my everyday life.

The Unattainable Ideal – Piet Hein (Grooks)

We ought to live each day as though it were our last day here below.
But if I did, alas, I know it would have killed me long ago.

My approach is more moderate than that.

Mainstreaming means bringing a little enjoyment into each day and seeing it as a gift.

It might seem like I’m not getting as much done. Yet, I actually still am getting quite a lot done, and what I’m doing is so much more fulfilling and less stressful.

Here’s a suggestion for this moment:

Look to this day – Sanskrit Proverb

Look To This Day
For it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the realities and verities of existence,
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power . . .
For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.

I like to think that I’ve experienced about everything with respect to time, although there’s probably much more.
Believing that time had no end, particularly when I was in my teens and 20’s
Believing that my time was my own.
Believing that I wanted to accomplish some things by a certain age.
Believing that I couldn’t do certain things after a certain age. (not completely true!)
Believing that I could do certain things at any age. (also not completely not true!)
Believing that I could manage time.
Believing that my time was so limitless that it didn’t need to be managed or savored.

I’m still a work in progress. And although I don’t want to face the fact that I have no idea how much time is left for me here, I do accept that the time I have is mine to use as I choose.

I choose growth over comfort.

I choose life.

2 thoughts on “Choose Time

  1. “Time keeps everything from happening all at once.”

    Or as the poet said, ‘Only God can make a tree,’ probably because it’s so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.

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