How Do You Measure Time?
I spoke with a friend several months ago about trying to balance my time with my family, my work, my running, and all the other areas tugging at my life. When we were talking about my kids, I remember a comment he made regarding my oldest, Ashley.
“Look at it this way, you have six summers left with your daughter.” He stated matter-of-factly.
His words penetrated my conscious and it remained there like a lingering head cold that I could not escape. I began to ponder my concept of time and meditated on it ever since my conversation with my friend.
How do I measure time? Do I measure it by the weeks, the months, or the years? Do I measure it by the weekends or holidays? As I began to think about my thoughts on time, I realized that I measured time based on projects. I’m in sales and I’m a public speaker. I have a big calendar in my office that covers the entire year. I track my “speaking gigs” and conferences I plan to attend to meet with prospects and clients. I work my life around those events. June, for example, is measured by three speaking gigs and a major sales pitch I’m giving out near Dallas in a week. I expend my energy and brain power planning those events. I gear up for them and then crash when they’re done.
I also measure my time through softball tournaments. I’ve bonded with my daughter through softball. The sport has given us the opportunity to build a relationship and learn a lot about each other. I’ve attempted to learn the nuances of the sport so I can be competent enough to help coach a few of her teams. When I look up at my calendar I can see softball events riddled throughout the summer.
I’m very conscious of how precious time is for me and my family. We’re in a special time in our lives. My kids are growing up healthy and happy. My wife, Alia, and I are young and healthy. Life is good, but it’s changing. My kids are growing, evolving, and thriving. Soon they will need Alia and me less and will pull away as they embark on their own journeys and then how I measure time will change. Softball games won’t occupy my calendar, but the memories I’m creating now will occupy my mind forever.
As I sit in my office, pondering how my time is spent as my family sleeps safely upstairs, I realize that time is truly measured by the memories we make in those precious moments we have with each other. The awesome memory of holding both my twin boys for the first time is frozen in time. The moment I first saw the world hurt my daughter and she ran into my arms, nursing a bloody lip after a little boy accidentally kicked her while on the slide at McDonald’s. The first time I held my soon-to-be wife in my arms. These and thousands of other memories are tucked away in my heart and replay in my head like a favorite movie.
Time moves fast, but the precious memories we make with each other are lasting. Now, as I wake up and slowly roll out of bed and begin to plan my day I don’t ask myself, “what projects await?” I ask, “What memories will I create today?”
Our lives are a fleeting moment in the big picture, like a puff of smoke that is here and then is gone, but the memories we create and share, and we leave behind are our legacy. Go out and create memories and time will honor you. What memories will you create today?