How do you define time well spent?

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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

As the year comes to a close, we often become introspective about life and the year ahead.  As I grow older, one truth is for sure.  Time is the most important gift we can give others or ourselves.  Time well spent on wellness, friendship, family, being productive and sometimes just being still with nature, — it’s all good.

One thing experiencing deafness has taught me is that there is a value to sitting still in the quiet and coming to terms with problems both large and small.  Sometimes we need to pause before we can move on to the next dimension in our lives.  It is in those moments that we find solutions.

In this hurried world, it is hard to believe stopping to refresh our thoughts is a productive state.  But it is sometimes necessary especially as we grow older.

Babies are born.  We see people we love struggle with illness and pain.  People die.  We must always keep the torch burning and share some light with others, especially in their time of need.

How do we measure time?  We are all here for just a brief nanosecond.  More and more, I want every second to count.  I don’t think most of us realize early on how quickly life passes or that life can change in a second.

Sometimes life happens in the simplest of moments.

I for one love to go out in the woods to just listen to the language of the tiny animals, watch diffused sunlight move through the trees, smell the autumn air or feel the crunch of snow under my feet.  Somehow, that’s where everything comes into focus.  Just me, the forest and the tiny critters.

The ocean seems to be the place most people will go for solitude or reinvention.  I’ve always felt that may be because it may take us back to the safety of our first journey in amniotic fluid before taking our first breath.  When my hearing loss accelerated and I no longer could hear the waves crashing, I felt like the Earth had lost its rhythm or heartbeat.  I felt disconnected for a long time until I could hear those sounds again.

We are far more connected to nature than we realize.  Just a day off from the office and into the woods will remind us that there is so much more going on in this world than the frenzied pace we are used to. We are only part of the equation.

I remember a few years ago, one of the professors I worked with decided to retire.  When everyone asked him what he wanted to do in retirement his answer was simple.  He wanted to spend more time sitting under his favorite tree.  That’s all.  But he didn’t get to do that very much when he was working.

Whenever the year comes to a close, like many people, I ask myself where am I going?  How can I be a better person? What matters?  But this year I am challenging myself to the question, “How will I spend my time in the coming year?”

Maybe it’s good to live our lives like every day is our only day.  We spend so much time on trivia.  Here’s to the coming year and time well spent.

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

What are your favorite sounds of the season past and present?

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Credit:  Call of the Light by Robert Zunikoff (Unsplash)

Do certain sounds of the season evoke fond memories from another time?  Perhaps they signal the beginning of the holiday season?

When I was growing up, if my mother pulled out her 33 RPM record with Nat King Cole singing The Christmas Song, I knew Santa was soon to be on his way.  Hearing the clink of ribbon candy hitting the bottom of her Depression-era glass candy dishes meant she had finally completed the last measure of preparation and decorating.  Later on, we would hear the sound of the tension springs on the oven door as she pulled delectable goodies from the oven.

Here are some sounds of the season that are special to me, past and present:

Hearing the organist at Radio City Music Hall play holiday tunes

The sound of heavy, crunchy snow under my boots

Hearing someone feverishly ripping off wrapping paper and hearing in their voice how happy you made them for picking out something special

Playing Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano over and over because it’s a feel-good tune

Ditto for Brenda Lee’s Rocking Around The Christmas Tree

Hearing the Salvation Army ring their bell and knowing there are still good people who take the time to care about the downtrodden

Hearing my grandson sing Jingle Bells with his Pre-K class with enthusiasm– children are the ray of hope for the world

Taking the time to go see The Nutcracker, and enjoying the music

Bumping into someone dear while shopping, and having a special catch-up chat

Staying up until midnight on December 31 to hear 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1…Happy New Year! and watching people all over the world celebrate new beginnings

The clink of two glasses toasting and celebrating all that was and all that we hope for in the coming year

What are some of your favorite sounds of the season?  I’d love to hear from you!   

May you have reasons to enjoy the season.  Here’s wishing you hope, peace, joy and many reasons to feel gratitude.

Happy New Year!