One of the greatest things you can give someone, aside from love, is time.
Yes, this includes yourself.
As I grow older, the significance and preciousness of time continue to shout at me. It usually happens when milestones (i.e: graduations, weddings, funerals, birthdays, etc) occur or within the last two months of the year. I just get into this whole state of reflection and evaluate everything that has changed from a certain point in time ‘til that very moment.
Here's a couple of things I’ve learned in regards to time:
1. If we wait for people
to take the first step, stay quiet, make assumptions, and jump to conclusions, it does nobody good; especially yourself. Waiting, without action, can break so many relationships (i.e: platonic, romantic, familial, workplace, etc).
2. Waiting is important but
it is a good and bad thing; it's bad when you lack any action during the process. Waiting for results is one thing, but if you lack the change that is required prior, you will not get anywhere at all; you're practically waiting on nothing because you did nothing.
3. Transparency and openness
toward others even when you're aware of the pain it'll bring is crucial. It saves a lot of time and energy for both parties because they're hashing things out rather than dragging things out. If you feel like you've done everything that you could to make things work with someone or something, then I think this is when it's your sign to just move forward and let God do the rest (Proverbs 16:9). Be prudent to know when enough is enough.
4. Be aware of how
you're using other people's time. Ask yourself if you're taking their time for granted too. We can't get the time we've lost back but we can always adjust for the future. You should be surrounding yourself with people who motivate you to be better and support your growth; vice versa. If it's not happening, then maybe it's time to make changes.
5. Refocus. Reprioritize. Refine.
This is going to be a constant cycle when it comes to evaluating what is truly worth investing your time into. We live and learn what works and what doesn't work for us by taking things as they come.
Of course, looking inward is just as important as looking outward. You can control what you do with your time and how you choose to live your life today. At the end of the day, YOU choose what you're gonna settle for, work through, and move on from. This is your reminder to not take time for granted, because your time and everyone else's time is precious.
6. Time for yourself is not wasted time.
If you feel that you need a detox from social media, a break from work, or space from people... please take it. Go to the beach, read a book, pray to God, write in your journal, put in exercise, listen to music, light a candle, put on a face mask, draw a flower, watch Hamilton; do whatever calms your soul and enables you to bounce back into grind mode; of course when you're ready for it.
disclaimer: you'll never 100% be ready for anything, but if you're at least 50% there, then let your faith be greater than your fear.
7. Fail forward.
Even when things fail, rather than seeing such an experience as wasted time, use that experience as a lesson for growth. Many people say that experience is the best teacher, but thanks to John C. Maxwell, he made me realize that evaluated experience is the true teacher. Maxwell pointed out that anybody can get experience, but it's those who put in the time to reflect on their successes/failures that truly grow.
8. Life is a paradox
The average human lives to see their own white hair and wrinkled skin. Though we live fairly long lives, it seems that the uncertainties of tomorrow make our days feel short. In retrospect, life is short. This should give us more of a reason to continuously make the effort to tell our loved ones that we love them, show our friends we appreciate them, and give each day the best that we got.
This leads me to my last lesson learned:
9. Be present.
Some of us live in the past, some of us live for the future, few of us live in the now. Being unsatisfied is a common feeling I'm sure many of us feel in regards to our physical appearance, relationships, status, and careers. It's normal to feel dissatisfied but it's important to balance it out with gratitude. Having an attitude of gratitude helps you to remember where you've been, recognize how far you've come, and re-align with where you're going. Practicing mindfulness can bring you peace, if you allow it to. Don't worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). Take things day by day. Just focus on right now.
continue to love.
continue to be.
BONUS: Things change, people change, seasons change, but one thing remains the same, God.
I'm really not here to preach and teach but simply to share what I've come to learn. I've always been bad at time management. It's taken me years and years and years to get better at it, and yet, there’s still a loooooooot of room for improvement. Making time for my career, for serving, for my relationships, and for myself is a constant work in progress. There’s so much more to be learned as well.
If you've come this far, thank you for taking time out of your day to read this. I hope this helps you in some way, shape, or form. I hope it encourages you to reflect throughout your week. It’s never too late or too early to refocus, reprioritize, and refine your life.
Live for today my friends and make the most of it 🤍