Taking time…it’s a concept that floats around us in our busy lives. Taking time to stop. Taking time to listen. Taking time. It means we are being intentional. Purposeful. Focused. Right?
It’s also a phrase that conveys action. We are taking–seizing–time. Why does this matter? It matters because if we are not intentional, purposed, and focused on seizing time, it literally does slip away between our fingers and vaporizes before we can even breathe it in. Time transcends the physical world. We cannot grasp it unless we are determined to, and even with determination, the only way we can capture it is if we do so forcefully.
Time cannot be ordered to be stopped, but we can order it to be controlled in how it moves and what it takes with it.
The last few months, I needed my life to stop rapidly flowing through Time. So I took time. I stopped and let time just sit. Me and it. Staring at each other. I’d met the end of what I could do with Time swirling around me, ebbing itself on faster and faster as the energy took me with it as though Time were one of those teacup amusement park rides where the only way to survive is to let yourself go with the force. I couldn’t go with the force anymore. I needed to get off.
Time shifted for me on June 19, 2012. It stopped that day. It was the day I learned that something very bad had happened to my family, and I spent the next few years learning how to breathe and fight and sacrifice myself for the survival of others 24 hours a day. For years. And it’s okay. I’m okay with that, because it was needed and I absolutely would do it again without hesitation. But after a few years of living like that, Time just creates this dark swirling vacuum of space, like the tunnel that everyone travels through in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. You can’t exist in that state forever, because Time goes too fast and makes you feel like you’re drowning. You can’t keep up without rest. Without taking Time.
That’s why my posts grew more and more infrequent. Why I didn’t talk about what we went through when we were going through it. Any moment I had that was not spent on something related to that day, I couldn’t spend on anything related to that. I couldn’t give it any more time. I needed any moment of fresh, life filled air that I could grasp so that I could keep going.
Have you been there? Have you needed Time?
In December, I decided I’d had enough. My heart and mind couldn’t hold any more. So I stepped away from responsibilities that weren’t necessary. I made the hard decision to let go of things that were heavy just for that reason alone–they were heavy. I stopped using my personal Facebook account. I paused my business. I enrolled my kids in school. I cut contact with people who were unkind. I started Taking Time.
And here I am. Not better yet, but I’m here. I’m peaceful. I’m intentionally moving slowly toward using my time again. Intentionally. With focus, purpose, and while being very careful.
Time doesn’t come back to us. So instead of letting it take me, I’m taking It.
Photo credit: I don’t know.