It’s time to get busy…

August 10, 2019

I keep a collection of quotes, most of which I get from the Jack’s Winning Words blog, as a source of inspiration for writing my own posts here. Sometimes a few quotes on the same topic build up in that collection, as was the case when I decided to write about time. Here are three good quotes from Jack’s blog –

watch“Time is more valuable than money.  You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”  (Jim Rohn)

“Time only seems to matter when it is running out.”  (Peter Strup)

“One thing you can learn from the clock is that it passes time by keeping its hands busy.”  (Unknown)

I agree with the first two quotes, but it is the third quote that I want to focus upon here. Iman rushing think that the most important things that we can do with our time is to use it to be doing something. I find that when I’m busy time passes relatively fast and I’m not concerned about that, because, well, I’m busy.

I visit a number of retirement homes in the area in my role selling newspaper ads for the Spinal Column. During those visits I have observed that the residents who are busy doing something – volunteering within the facility or participating in one of the groups or clubs that the facility runs – seem to be much happier than those who just sit around watching others. Certainly, one’s health dictates the limits of what one can do, but I think it is also a matter that those who want to be active find a way to keep doing something.

With two jobs – selling real estate and selling ads for the paper – I have things to occupy multitaskermy time. Add to that the volunteer work that I do for the Chamber of Commerce, my church and the Milford Historical Society, and I really have little time left to be bored. Like the clock, I pass my time by keeping my hands busy.  So, rather than worry about how much time I have left; I focus on using that time to get things done. My time is too valuable to waste. You cannot get more time, but you can get more done in the time that you have.

There are lots of churches and non-profit organizations in every community across this land that need volunteers to get work done. They are usually doing good things to help others; so, you get the side benefit of feeling good about what it is that you are busy doing. Even if you aren’t physically able to do a lot of things, there are jobs at thosesewrving soup organizations in which you can help by doing what you are able to do. You may end up making phone calls to shut-ins to see if they need anything or perhaps you can read to someone who can no longer see well enough to read. Maybe you can schedule other workers who are more able or perhaps enter data into a computer. Maybe just being there to greet and talk with visitors is what they need. So, look around your neighborhood or area and find those volunteer jobs that need to be done. Whatever it ends up being; you are doing and not just being. You are busy.

How are you passing your time? Maybe it’s time to get busy.

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Have we become too busy to celebrate?

June 27, 2017

I’m co-chair of the Independence Day Parade for the area in which I live. The parade, which is held on the 4th of July every year, is slowly dying out as fewer and fewer local businesses and organizations sign up to be in the parade and thus fewer parade paradewatchers come out to see it. The parade, which used to attract up to 100 entries every year is down to less than half of that number and continuing to shrink.

There are many contributing factors to the loss of interest in the 4th of July parade, not the least of which is the fact that it occurs during the height of the summer vacation season. In our area, we have a really big and wonderful Memorial Day parade to honor veterans and those serving now, which siphons off some of the potential participants for the Independence Day parade. We used to get 5-10 scout troops – Cub Scouts and Brownies in particular – in the parade and now none show up.  I’m sure economics play some role, too. This year many local cities and townships canceled their 4th of July fireworks because of budget issues. Having said all of that, I think another big reason is that many think they are too busy to take the time to march in or go see a parade.

That thought brought to mind this quote by Socrates – “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” I think Socrates was trying to warn us about becoming too busy to appreciate and savor life. I’ve posted here before about the dangers of becoming so focused upon nap at worksuccess in a career that one loses sight of why they are working in the first place – they lose touch with the family that they point to as the reason for their hard work They become so busy that their life and that of those they love becomes barren.

Next week we have the one opportunity that we get a year to stop our busy-work and take a moment to contemplate the birth of the greatest nation on earth, yet most are too busy to get into the parade that celebrates that event or to come watch it. Maybe it’s time to stop for a moment and consider what you are doing with the prime of the only life that you get. Are you too busy for family and friend? Are you constantly working and not taking any time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor? Are you perhaps confusing being busy with being productive or even withwomen looking at watch being happy? Is your busy life really fulfilling or has being busy all the time left it barren?

It is ironic somehow that the only two times in our lives that we seem to take the time to enjoy it are at the two ends of it. When we are children we are blissfully ignorant of the need to be busy all the time, although we seem to be most of the time. When we are elderly, we may finally get the time to slow down and enjoy life without the need to be busy. But, oh boy; in between those two ages, we seem to be heads down busy all the time. I’ve already posted here about the opportunity to take time for God at church having been preempted by sports – see What happened to Sundays? We’ve become a society that is too busy to stop and devote a couple of hours to church, when there are ball games and soccer matches and hockey games to be played.

wonderingThere is only one solution to this problem and that is to just say no to the next busy thing that is demanding your time and instead take the time to go to church or to march in or watch the parade or to do the other things that aren’t on a To-Do list. Slow down, catch your breath, take time to think about and appreciate the things and people that are around you. You need not be busy 24/7. Life is not about being busy all the time.  While most of you may not even know who he was, this quote by Eddie Cantor seems an appropriate way to end this post  – “Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

Come out and see our parade on the 4th of July; or, even better, be in it.