Letters to My Kids: 5 Timely Reflections on 2016
Five reflections on 2016 resonate with me. This past year I challenged myself to take a word and implement it into my life. In 2015, my word was Listen, and in 2016 it was Time. I started off the year by thinking about all the words dove-tailing with the word Time. Like “Time Crunching”; “Taking Time”; “Not Enough Time”; “Time Wasting”; “Precious Time”; “In TIme”; “Out of Time”; and others. I thought taking time would be the solution to many of my rushing and busyness of life, but by the end of the year my mind had changed. I came to a deeper appreciation of people who took time to stop, and listen, and care. Here are a few of my thoughts. If you watch any of these videos below, please watch the last one. This one has been so powerful in my life this past year and I received it via email from my mother.
Dear My Kids,
This letter is on the reflections learned in 2016 about Time. Time isn’t something we can really comprehend, but we need to truly value.
We try to manage it and control it but really it’s to be valued, present and appreciated. Are we really spending time on what really matters to us? Where are you spending your money? Would you drop it down a storm sewer or just hand it out on a street corner? Like money, time is a precious commodity. This past year I have come to appreciate it more. I saw the movie Collateral Beauty recently and here is a clip about a young man who is playing the character of “Time”. Is Time really an illusion? I guess you can make that decision for yourself.
2. Time to Deepen Relationships
I also think time is found in relationships. Here are some reflections. Sometimes we say “Time Stood Still”, or “It seems like Old Times”, or “Time Just Flew By” when we talk about friends we love to be around. This YouTube video spoke to me years ago, and with my focus on Time this year, it brings more emphasis. As you watch this video, first focus on the man first, then focus on the woman second. And notice how he turned to a ghost, but she was a ghost for most of the video. So powerful. And even so, how the words “And the World Spins Madly on”. Called “A Thought of You”, this video truly plays on time.
3. Everything Happens in Time
Privileged to spend time with my uncle recently and he talked about Time as being two thoughts. Here is what Google says:
Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment(the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens.
Also, we get caught in this chronos time and get locked into the belief that chunking our lives in time slots is the most beneficial. But is it? When was the last time you were in nature? Doesn’t nature sometime make “time stop”? I think beauty, creativity and being present makes us abandon the chronos and focus more on the kairos time.
4. Reflections: Trapped or Escaping
Being a teacher I meet many students. Sarah and James I know you don’t always meet the expectations that Time places on you. Like for example, you both were to be at Reading Level 16 by June of your Grade 1 year. Unfortunately both of you did not meet that time constraint.
Should that define you? Should I feel shame? Should you feel shame?
The answer is No. People around you will try to take Time and put you on a route that will eventually get you to either “their destination” or our “cuture’s destination”. Don’t feel trapped. Please watch the video at the bottom, to deepen your understanding of this “corridor” of education.
As an adult there are many time this year I felt that I didn’t have enough time. I started the year, thinking I was going to make time, yet by the end of the year I came out with a whole new perspective.
5. Time is My Friend
There is a song, sung by Julie Andrews, I use to sing when I was in elementary school. It’s title is “Time is Your Friend”.
I came through this year and came to appreciate those people who took the time. If you have read this far, then I want to share with you some thoughts of people in my life that made the time for me. I can easily mention my husband and you guys (my kids), but here are a few more. I chose to leave out the names, because I think you know who you are that took the time for me. I am grateful and appreciate what you taught me this past year.
Two close friend who chose to just listen and walk with me during a challenging time. A friend who took some time to make a phone call to advocate for me. Or like the vice principal I had last year who took the time to come and do observations in my classroom, and inturn share reflections on teaching and his life insights with me. Or the wife of an old colleague, who made time out of her schedule in the summer to meet with me for coffee. I also had the privilege of a past colleague taking the time to talk to me about Creativity and giving me two books to help me learn more. I had another friend support me and give me time through a difficult season in my life, even though this person shared with me a feeling of fatigue and exhaustion. Or two close family members who chose to take time to help; show compassion and listen to me, when they both didn’t have the time, but made the time. I had five specific people last year that were kind enough to open up to me about areas of growth I need to work on. These five people didn’t have to share their insights, but they did. This was humbling, yet empowering to me to seek ways to improve myself, and help others around me. I am very grateful for all those in 2016 who taught me about Time and granted me their time.
See I don’t think it takes too much to give time, but if we get locked into the chronos part of time and then forget about the kairos time it is difficult. This following video is one of my favourite of all time. I am nearing 40 and I truly believe that we are meant to dance and sing through life, and yet the “corridor” and the goals get in the way of really focusing on what really matters. Does Time play a part in your life? Do you believe that life is a journey with a destination? Or do you agree with Alan Watts when he says, “We missed the point all along”.
This 2017 I will be moving from Listening to Time to Present. Present meaning that I stop what I am doing and put myself in the back seat to just be around. I was powerfully affected by this video this past year. Just realizing that we are always trying to get through something. Reflections are important and taking the Time to think is a powerful instrument of change, empathy and compassion in our world. I am grateful for 2016 and I look forward to the 2017 “Present”, and future ahead.