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!