I was reminded this weekend of how important time is. We mark time by different seasons in our life. Most of the time when we think of seasons we think of the four seasons of the calendar year. Those seasons are Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each one of those seasons brings with it something unique that reminds us of that time of year, and why we either love it or dislike it. For instance, I am not too fond of Summer because it is just so miserably hot. Once the temperatures start creeping beyond 90 F I find myself staying inside more and outside less. The only time I do not mind sweating is when I am at the gym. The rest of the time I do not care to.
We only have so much time here on this earth. I believe that our allotment of time is given to us by our creator God and that it is our responsibility to use it as we will. We can either use it productively or we can waste it away with frivolous activities. As I said earlier, I was reminded of this because one of our members of our men’s life group is in the ICU at one of our local hospitals. His precious wife woke up early Sunday morning to find her spouse not responding. Thankfully through CPR and modern medicine they were able to bring him back and is now in ICU fighting for his life. Why is it that it takes things like this to remind us of how precious life is? Maybe we just assume that we will have another tomorrow when the reality of it is that we may not.
Seasons brings change. Some of those changes are good, some are bad. Some changes bring life and some brings death. Some of those changes we have no control over like the seasons I described above. Some things in our lives we do have control over such as how will I spend this 24 hours. In a 24 hour period I get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep. That leaves me 16 hours for the rest of the day and 8 of those I spend at work. That leaves me 8 hours to do with as I will.
Just this week one of my blogging friends described how she intentionally went through a digital detox. She intentionally stayed away from social media because she realizes how much time she wastes with it. How many of us can admit to the same thing? How many hours have I wasted on Facebook mindlessly scanning my time line to read this and that. How much of the information I get from my Facebook timeline is a total waste of time? Probably more than I would like to admit.
One of the things I have decided to do is to go through my Facebook friends list and take a hard look at who I am communicating with and why. How many of my FB Friends actually communicate with me in a meaningful way? Out of 462 supposed friends I have about 25 or 30 people that I either know in real life or have been communicating with online for quite some time. All of those people are now in my Close Friends list and those are the people that I will be communicating with when I post to Facebook. The rest of the people I moved to the acquaintance list and I unchecked the “follow on time line” so I do not see their posts. I still have some folks that are not in the close friends list that I will chose to post to my time line because they have something interesting to say. For the most part I have cut out all the endless drivel about politics and religion. Some folks are just super obsessed with their view points and I have consumed way too much of it. I have found that the overload of information about several topics has just affected me in a negative way. It is time to cut back I believe.
Now that I am going to do less mindless following of my FB timeline I will have time to read books, write in our blog and reconnect with family and friends. When I say reconnect I mean to reconnect the old fashioned way. I am going to learn how to pick up the phone and call people. I might even write a letter or two and drop them in the mail box. How absolutely wonderful could that be? Would you like to have a pen pal? If so, hit me up and we can do that.
I also plan on spending more time finding my Happy Places. I spend some time down the street from our house at a place where I can pull off the road and see the Stono river. It is relaxing to unplug from social media and enjoy nature. It is nice to listen to the water lap against the rocks and watch the birds. The locals like to come out to fish and catch crabs. Sometimes I like to shut my eyes and just listen and catch a nap. A small season to relax and enjoy some me time. A slice of time and a place to reflect on what matters the most.
Do you struggle with things in your life that are a huge waste of time? How do you deal with it? I would love to hear from you dear reader.