Hi Friends! Welcome to Episode Four of the Reaching Hurting Women Podcast: A Contemplative Path of Recovery where we are learning new and healthy ways of coping with our daily struggles. My name is Tamara and I’ll be your host.
With the healing power of the Holy Spirit as our guide, we are integrating the traditional 12 Step Recovery principles with Benedictine Spirituality and other contemplative practices which we will be learning and discussing each week. It’s my hope to have a new podcast each Monday to discuss our topic of the week and to introduce the weekly theme on ReachingHurtingWomen.com.
This week our theme topic is: The Sacred Now
Time is a mysterious thing. We can’t see it but we can see the results of it. We can measure it but we can’t control it. We are fascinated with time. Time travel books and movies abound. Today I want to talk about marking time to bring more awareness of its passing.
A few years go I read something that brought serious attention to my lack of awareness of time passing in my life and how I was spending that time. Here’s the quote:
“Time makes today tomorrow’s memory. Each weekend seems to pass us by like blurred telephone poles flashing past the window of the speeding train of life… Let’s assume the average person dies at 70 years old. Then if you are 20 years old, you have just 2,500 weekends left to live. If you have turned 30 you have 2,000 weekends left until the day you die. If you are 40 years old, you have only 1,500 weekends left. If you are 50 then you have just 1000 weekends, and if you are 60 you have a mere 500 weekends left until the day death comes to you.”**
Rather than days or moments, many of us look at the passing of time in weeks often living specifically for the weekend. Counting by years seems to keep our mortality at a distance. Focusing on our weeks and weekends seems to keep life a little closer. But how are we spending those weekends?
When I first read the quote above, I was 50 years old and had just spent the last 10 years of my life totally living for a party weekend. This quote shook my husband and me so much that we decided to create a way to track the passing of our weekends to help us keep time at the forefront.
Based on our ages at the time, we counted up the approximate number of weekends we had left to live. My husband purchased a lovely crystal vase and filled it full of glass marbles to represent the weekends left in our life. Each Friday we remove one marble and place it in a visible location. Then on Monday the marble goes in the trash. The weekend has been spent.
We started this exercise nine years ago and the decrease of marbles in the vase is definitely noticeable now. It will be interesting to see the continued effect on our use of time as the vase get emptier. As we track the lapsing of time, keeping the present visible between the past and the future, we become more aware of each passing moment; the now in which we are living.
Have you ever noticed we talk about time as money…spending it?
If we really saw time more as money, maybe we would be less wasteful of it. I don’t know a lot of us are wasteful with our money. Well, maybe we should think of time like other valuable resources: water, fuel, food, …life.
Since we started marking our weekends, I am more careful of how I spend my time. I watch far less television. I read and listen to books that better feed my brain and future goals. Are there days that I struggle? Of course, life is hard for all of us. And some days and weeks are harder than others. Do I always spend my time wisely? Of course not, I’m human. But for the most part, I am focused on a plan: To live a healthy, productive, contemplative sober life and to share my message and journey with other women who struggle. Having a defined purpose makes getting out of bed in the morning a lot easier. When I was living in my addiction, all I wanted to do was run from time. I was so miserable I couldn’t bear to be in any moment. Looking back on the years I wasted away, it makes me mad and sad. It’s terrible to look back with such regret.
Time is money they say. But really time is much more than that. It is our life. This moment is all I have. It is all you have.
What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears. ~ James 4:14 (GWT)
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~ Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver
Now let me ask you…
What is time to you? Is it a valuable resource? How will you mark the passing of your time?
I hope you will consider creating a way to mark the passing of time in your life; a way that will help you keep the present moment more centered.
Thanks so much for joining me today on the Reaching Hurting Women Podcast: A Contemplative Path to Recovery where we are learning new ways of coping with our daily struggles.
This week our theme topic is the Sacred Now. I hope you will check out the various posts we will have this week at ReachingHurtingWomen.com. Be sure to leave your questions or comments below the show notes there.
Until next time, may the grace and peace of God be yours.
**The Evidence Bible