time waits for no one

During an online treadmill class I took recently, the fitness instructor got to the hard part of the class. We were huffing and puffing respectively and suddenly she exclaimed…

“Time waits for no one. Not even you.”

Now, the instructor was motivating her participants to push themselves in the run. (And it worked.) She knew that there’s no time like the present to test your boundaries and give it your all.

But her words struck a deeper chord in me. One that she could have never anticipated. (Isn’t it funny how words can hit you with uncanny timing?)

You see, my father-in-law was losing his battle to cancer. We were watching his body fade away as the cancer took over. And we were coming to terms with his inevitable absence in our lives as his final days passed by. His time ran out shortly after the class.

So, those words took hold in my mind. “Time waits for no one.” It ran out for him. It will run out for me too one day. And these questions gnawed at my chest as I lay awake at night.

Was I working towards a life I dreamed of? I don’t know.

Was I wasting too much time on unimportant things? Perhaps.

Was I treating myself well? Like I loved myself? Sometimes.

Was I doing things that I felt “called” to do? Not as much as I’d like.

How would you answer these questions?

The words became the basis for a lot of re-evaluation in my life. (And talks of death with your kids will do that too.) What’s ACTUALLY important to our time on Earth? It’s not the endless news cycles and the social media comparisons. Those just suck our precious time away from us. It’s the essential work we do, the people we touch, and how happy we let ourselves be. Have we made a difference while we’re here?

What Matters

So, after a lot of thought, I re-shaped my life. I found more time for self-care. I said yes to long walks in nature and hot bubble baths. I scheduled in a better balance of work and family. I added more FUN into the days with my kids. And I made time for doing more of the work that truly sparks my joy. Because darn it, these things MATTER more than we realize.

“Self care is a deliberate choice to gift yourself with people, places, things, events, and opportunities that recharge our personal battery and promote whole health–body, mind, and spirit.”

–Laurie Buchanan

For more inspiration, check out these 87 amazing self-care quotes!

The words also gave this reminder:

TODAY is a gift. Never a guarantee.

TODAY is the chance to make your mark on the world.

TODAY is the opportunity to treat yourself well.

TODAY is the moment to tell someone you love them.

Are you letting yourself be happy? Are you living courageously? Boldly?

Don’t let this day, this chance, pass you by. STOP pushing it to some unforeseen future.

Because time waits for no one. Not even you.

In Conclusion

Though I never would have realized it, the words became a mantra for living each day to the max. And, as Matthew McCounahey puts it in his latest book Greenlights, for “making my life my favorite movie.” Wouldn’t that be amazing? If we all lived more interesting, joyful, and adventurous lives as the world’s greatest movies?

I’m in. Are you with me too? Let’s get living. Let’s realize that time truly is a non-renewable resource. We will never get it back. And if we live right, we don’t need to.