Of all the things I have and can desire to have, my time on this earth, and the time my kids will have of mine is finite. I am mindful of that. What I am also painfully mindful is that I do not choose well how I spend it. As an adult, time and the freedom to do whatever I want with it is actually the only part of aging that I like to embrace, at least as of now. These gray hairs? That is a topic for another essay.
I really expect not too much of me nor too much of what time would do for me either. Just what I would do with my time. And most times I fall short. The relationship with time has been an intriguing one. I have thought of times when I could go back and fix a few things I might have said that must have hurt my sister tremendously. It will be 3 years since she has spoken to me. That is really a lot of time, considering the frightening possibility that I will regret telling her how sorry I am for what I did or said, should my time on this earth be cut even shorter.
Like everyone else, I had started off 2014 with hopes of a whole new year ahead with endless possibilities and how I would smoothly check off each of my resolutions. On the 1st day of January, I became moody and antsy. I told my kids that it was goal setting day for everyone around the world and so it was going to be mine too. I sat at our breakfast table oblivious to their needs and created a To Do calendar.
What is the most incredulous part of my life after spending a solid 4 hours on that document is that it went into decommission on about the 3rd week. I did not even open it until now. I need it now because I wanted to get a screenshot of it to show you how foolish I had been not spending that precious day in the “now”. I was planning incessantly for THE future. What I also did not realise was that the “planned and organized” later was not even a strategy. It was simply eating away at my present. If I have to be melodramatic, like how my friends describe (accuse) me to be, my kids grew up a solid 4 hours without my nurture for their wellbeing.
Turns out throughout the year I ended up doing a lot more of the self-sabotaging tasks that will be even more outrageous. I looked at pictures from my friends who went to Las Vegas and longed to go there. A few of my friends went to Copper mountain for skiing. I found excitement Googling the location of resorts around Colorado.
As crucial personal deadlines mounted on me, I secretly kept in touch with Kate Upton and Kate Middleton via celebrity gossip websites (Maybe, I might be having a thing for Kates) and wondered what they ate to stay alive. If I was not so distracted in the busy mornings and took my thyroid medicine on time, it would have kept my weight in check.
Ironically, the most books on Self improvement I read about were primarily on time management, the second closely following that of meditation and yoga. I even read a book on self-hypnosis. 14 in total just in the past year. Abstract versions and full length books combined.
While outdoors in the park, when I heard words like Red kore, Orange theory or Green juice – in terms of exercise regimens or diet supplements, I began to develop a complex. I worried I was not in the game of fitness, so to speak. So, for physical exercise and some general excitement, I began walking around stores like Macy’s and after 3 vexing hours during most trips, never bought as much as a thong.
Then on a chance encounter – call it the ever present idle time in front of a computer – I came across the name Ruslana Korshunova when I read a news article of her biography being released. When I saw her picture, I went into shock and obsessively cried wondering how beautiful women had such serious suicidal issues with depression. Why couldn’t anyone love her instead of taking advantage of her, she was so naïve. What was she thinking when she ran and leapt to her death from her apartment onto the middle of a busy New York city street? I felt terrible for her. It was not necessarily a waste of time when I thought of it, I was merely being empathetic to a fellow human. The problem is that she has been dead for a while now.
Most times, I day dreamt that all my dreams were going to work out and I will be this fabulous writer. Then I Googled. HELP NEEDED WITH GOOD WRITING ADVICE. I read an article where the author says that to be remarkable in this world of ordinary people you would have to have a deformity to stand out. I wish I could write like that, to make a difference in how people thought. I wondered how Virginia Woolf would have so effortlessly written this procrastination and mindfulness essay. Would anyone spend their time if I thought my writing was not meeting my threshold of remarkable standard?
2014 – The year of the selfie also left me disillusioned. Instant gratification was the norm. As for my life, I seemed to have kept the script mediocre with some strange self-infused funny moments and took selfies of me, not all body parts withstanding.
Also, in 2014 or before, I almost never single tasked, was never at one place and enjoyed a singular event thoroughly. Thanks to my iPhone and the buzz surrounding my life, I was literally in a virtual presence everywhere. My later sabotaged my now. I had also installed so many apps, I discovered that I even downloaded an app called OMG sounds on my iPhone. For the love of God, my kids don’t have my password, so it must have been me who wanted to hear some strange sounds.
One day, I came across my friend’s browser history for YouTube. She is a cat lover. I saw a video she had paused in the middle, which said, Dear Kitten. I remembered the two words and came home to look those videos up for some amusement. After 2 and half hours of giggles with the kids while watching, rewinding and replaying, much to my dismay I realized we don’t even own a friggin cat!!! DEAR KITTEN: MY FRIEND PEANUT BY PURINA FRISKIES. It’s a strange feeling when you realize you can be sold cat food even when you don’t even own a cat.
Most proud accomplishment of 2014, you ask? It has be my limited time on Facebook or that the need to incessantly check my emails plummeted. Of course, just like many of us, I realized that the usage of Email overall around the world has gone down. We have collectively moved onto the next big thing in technology. But, on the other hand, how DID I spend the time I saved? My Whatsapp usage has skyrocketed, where I regularly instant chat with friends and family from around the world, any topic, any time.
Finally after a year of failed prospects and what could have been, in December I went through all the things I did that did not really do anything to improve the quality of my life I was living. I started with some of my most obvious companions, like the playlist of my songs. I have 230 songs on Saavn, a Bollywood counterpart of Spotify. However the problem is, I painstakingly handpick and only listen to any of 17 of them on any given day and in any mood I am. Those are the only songs I can listen to, when I am happy, in a hurry, moody, terribly sad, driving to or back from work. I decided to clean up my play list. It now has 17 songs.
How would things magically change? How will there be sparks of ideas if there is not burning desire of fire to change. There are many regrets I wish not to have. A few like, I did not raise my kids splendidly, I did not give them enough time. For them, I am willing to give a lot (of time) away.
Here is yet another new year upon me and I am hyper vigilant of that. So, for 2015, I have invested only in one word. NOW. It might as well be followed by “or Never”, because that will sum up my resolution for 2015. It is my goal to essentially be irresolute this year. Two real conceptual definitions that I have assigned to the word. Definition ONE: Be in the NOW, be mindful and absorb the situation and the surroundings with all the elements that make up my soul and my spirit and my piece of the earth. And definition TWO: Do it NOW, without procrastination.
Like my body, this NOW is the only thing I own. It’s in me, my breath and my instant. And.. it is recyclable. NOW and NOW and there you are yet again at another NOW.
And, whether my sister decides to reconcile with me and if there is a combined future in our lives, only time will tell. For now, I live in the terror that in very less time, my 10 year old will demand answers to why I do not spend time or share thoughts (openly) of my sister.
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About The Article Author:
Our mission with FutureSTRONG Academy – to grow children who respect themselves, their time and their capabilities in a world where distractions are just a click or a swipe away.
I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté.
Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like.
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents
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