As yet another year draws to a close it brings to mind how swiftly time passes and how important it is for us to make the most of each precious moment. We can waste money but we can always make more. However, if we waste our time we can’t get back the hours, days, months and years wasted. They’re gone forever.
Therefore my wish for you is that you will make each moment of 2019 count by doing things you love doing, by being the best version of you that you can be, by asking yourself if what you do to earn a living brings you joy, if you get personal satisfaction by that which takes up about forty (or so) hours of each week. This time next year you will probably have spent approximately 2,000 hours working in the job that you now work in. That’s a big chunk of your time, time which is limited, time which can’t be got back if wasted on doing things you don’t enjoy doing: As Aiden W Tozer said, “When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection”.
I want to tell you a story about a lady who recently joined Twoheartsmeet and she got me thinking about this very topic. We’ll call her Ann. She had retired a few years ago and had decided to give her two adult children a helping hand minding their children while she tried to work out what else she could be doing with all those extra hours now available to her each and every day. She has four grandchildren ranging in ages from four up to thirteen. What started out as collecting the four year old twins from Pre School a few afternoons a week morphed into making dinners, collecting the two older grandchildren from school, helping with homework and she even attended a parent teacher meeting when her son and daughter in law took a well-earned mid-week break.
Even though Ann loves her grandchildren dearly, she began to resent how her son and daughter gradually became very dependent on her, to the extent that it was beginning to feel like a full time job. She realised it was her own fault for making herself too available and not having anything else on her agenda. She had to make the decision to do what was right for her and sat down to chat with them about working out a better arrangement so that she could pursue other interests such as learning how to play golf and joining a local retirement group, as well as helping them out a few hours a week.
Her daughter decided to get an au pair, which she had been thinking about before Ann retired but put it off as granny was being so helpful and obliging. Her son decided to ask his neighbour to collect the eldest from secondary school along with her own daughter of the same age and he arranged with another neighbour to collect the ten year old and look after him for a few hours after school. Ann offered to be available one day each week for each of her children which meant she had three days plus weekends to herself to pursue the things she had wanted to do while working but didn’t have the time. Plus she had two days each week to spend quality time with her grandchildren. She said she would also make herself available for emergencies such as filling in for the au pair when needed or collecting the older children from school. It was a win win situation.
Her son and daughter felt mortified that they had started taking her for granted but with a little diplomacy they worked it all out perfectly with nobody becoming offended. Now Ann is happily enjoying her retirement and says that meeting a nice gentleman through Twoheartsmeet will be the icing on the cake for her!