Not Enough Time
As I watch the calendar pages turn and I’m starting to feel as if I don’t have enough time to complete all the goals I set for 2021, I am mindful of a conversation I got to hear as a hospice chaplain. A patient was explaining some of the things she wanted to do before she died. Her daughter, listening to her mother’s wishes, finally could hear no more. “Mom, quit talking like that; you’re going to be fine.” To which the patient replied, “Oh Darling, even if I wasn’t sick, there’s not enough time to pretend we’re not all dying.”
This honest woman put me in mind of some of the other lessons I have learned from my patients. And so, in honor of these teachers and in recognition that we are coming to the end of the year and it’s possible that some of the things we may have hoped would happen for ourselves in 2021 didn’t, I share with you a few of the things for which there is not enough time for any of us.
There is not enough time to stay angry. We get angry; that’s human nature and sometimes anger is the force to create necessary change. Getting angry doesn’t always feel good but it’s often not a waste of time. Staying angry, however, is. It only holds you back from living the life you want.
There is not enough time to be petty. You don’t have to be terminal to understand this. Don’t sweat the small stuff. There is not enough time for a long drawn out pity party. It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself once in a while, to sit down with your troubles. It’s just a huge waste of time to stay there.
There is not enough time to be someone other than who you are. You may not yet be the person you want to be. You may never be the person others want you to be. But who you are is enough. It is exactly and completely enough.
There is not enough time to be afraid. Fear keeps you from moving forward. What is there to lose? You must do the thing that frightens you.
There is not enough time to build walls separating yourself from others. The one truly worthwhile experience in this life is to love. Open your heart and see.
There is not enough time to refuse to apologize. No matter who is at fault, there are always things to claim you’re sorry for. Just say it. Move on. You’ll feel better.
There is not enough time to miss beauty. Sunrise, sunset, flower blooming, leaves changing, river rolling. It is around us every day. Get outside. Get outside now.
There is not enough time to think you’re the only one who is right. Maybe you are but surely, it gets lonely being the only one, all the time. Loosen up and look around; you may discover others are right too.
And finally, there is not enough time to stop learning. Lessons in love and of patience and kindness, a new vocabulary word, a different way to tie your shoes, there is always something new to learn.
Enjoy what you have and start now. The year is coming to an end. You may be out of time to do some of the things that really don’t matter anyway but ask any hospice patient and they’ll tell you, no matter how long you have left, there isn’t enough time to waste.
You are the light of the world.