The Preciousness of Time

Images of mutiple clocks

It is easy to be pleasant
when life flows by like a song,
but the one worthwhile
is the one who will smile
when everything goes wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble,
and it always come with years,
and the smile that is worth
the praises of earth
is the smile that shines through the tears.

~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I was with my husband at a visitation this weekend when I read this poem. The circumstances are really quite sad; the deceased was a young man, only 27 years old. In a cruel twist of fate, he was suddenly struck by an illness. Within a matter of weeks, he was gone.

I’m not here to be preachy about “be thankful for what you have” or “at least that hasn’t happened to you.” I don’t feel that helps anyone to make such comparisons. And really, unless you are throwing yourself a drawn-out pity party about being unemployed instead of working toward a better future, any person who would do that needs to dial a clue.

At the same time, it did make me think of the preciousness of this time we have. I think about the great things I wouldn’t have gotten to experience if the same fate had befallen me at that age:

  • Marriage (I would have missed it by five months)
  • Getting my MBA
  • Becoming a mom and experiencing my little ones’ firsts
  • Meeting all the wonderful people who have come into my life in the past decade + of my life

Certainly, there have been some stressful times, and some rather awful times that I hope I never have to experience again. On the whole, however, I feel grateful that I have been here for the ride and for the various ways that each life event — the good and the bad — has shaped me.

How do you see your circumstances? How are you using the time you have?

Image courtesy of Alan Cleaver

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