I don’t often celebrate holidays. Instead, I use them to travel, as I am now. But, I still find myself pondering gratitude on Thanksgiving. This year I am especially grateful for the opportunities that I have had, my health, the work I do, and the relationships I cherish.
This week, a good friend sent me a list of five things you can’t recover in life:
- A stone after it’s thrown
- A word after it’s said
- An occasion after it’s missed
- Time after it’s gone
- Trust after it’s lost
Her message was timely. I can’t find the original source to credit with these words. Without having seen this list before, I had been acutely aware of #2 and #4.
I often strive to say nothing, since words cannot be unsaid. Frequently I have the wrong words to say. I don’t always succeed at saying nothing. And sometimes whether I say nothing or the wrong thing, the outcome is equally bad.
I am acutely aware that time may be the most precious commodity we have. It’s a finite resource. Each of us only gets a certain number of hours, days, or years, to spend on this earth. I am always grateful when people share their time with me. And I am incredibly selective, especially as I get older, about how I spend mine. As part of a class I’m taking, they had us log and analyze how we spend our time each day. With my regular work-week daily commitments (sleep, workout, shower, commute, work, prep meals, eat, do course lessons, etc.), I have between 0 and 5 “free” hours per day to play with if I don’t want to be chronically sleep deprived (sleep is my typical loser). So if I have made time for something or someone not on the schedule, or bumped one of my core activities off of the schedule, it was critically important to me. This exercise also made it crystal clear that if I want to add anything else to my schedule regularly – e.g. learn a language, write more frequently, start a side business – something else must be given up.
I am still chewing on the other items on the list. Is anything missing?