The youngster that represents a new year is already beginning to look a lot like Old Man Time. And 2022 is not even a month old yet! Such are the times that we live in.
Reminders of the passing of time surround us. Hopefully, we recall the importance of each moment as we live in the moment. Instead of hand-wringing or stressing about our desire for things to be “normal” again, we would be better served using the moments to learn, grow, understand and love. The myriad of influences and factors in society today overwhelm us and rob us of the magnificence of the moment.
My wife had my old family clock repaired as my Christmas gift. It has been in the family for a long time and its tick-tocking now, after many decades of silence, reminds me of time passing. It also reminds me of many great stories remembered from times when I was a kid and my dad wound the clock every night. The sound makes me wonder about the decades of stories that the clock has lived through. Now, it is part of my routine to wind it. It is part of my story, and I am part of its. Maybe that is part of the lessons: time passes…pay attention to the moments as they present opportunity and they create memories, all of which helps anchor us in tumultuous times.
About 20 years ago, in personally tumultuous times, I wrote lyrics about the passing of time and my relationship with my sons. Time was passing; it still is. My dad’s ritual with the clock became part of the message. The refrain and one of the stanzas follows:
Dad of mine
Tell me your stories
Share some time
Remind me you love me
With a hug and a smile.
I look up to you
I copy your walk
I’ve watched and listened
Since the time I could talk
I look at your hands
While you wind the clock
Amidst the challenges that I faced at the time, I sought to find some stability and direction; I looked back to improve my chances of moving forward properly. A significant determinant in my decision making was my sons. The decisions you are making today are influenced by, and with consideration for, others, too.
Considering the past two years and how things are shaping up this year, now might be a good time to find tools for stability and clarity. They are moments; they enable us to learn, grow, understand and love. They also provide us with perspective and context for the future. If we use them thusly, we can make sense of today while moving forward to our tomorrows.