Hello, Friday! It’s the day that marks the end of the work week and the beginning of the weekend (at least it does for me at about 5:30pm CST.) For the latest installment of my Oh Happy Day! Gratitude Project, I’ve been thinking about marking time.
Last weekend, I took three watches to the store to install new batteries. I kept forgetting the task for several weeks, and each day at work I’ve been completely lost without the wrist-bound vehicle for marking time. I found myself glancing to the upper right corner of Kermit (my trusty laptop, for the unindoctrinated) repeatedly throughout the days just to orient myself. It’s interesting how much we come to incorporate that simple task into our daily routine. There is something special about keeping time, about acknowledging its passage. It orients us. It gives us context. And, although it may appear to speed up or slow down depending on our activities, it’s very consistency puts our own context in parallel with the rest of the world’s.
So, I have three watches. Two of them have been without batteries for a while and lost to me because of my annoying tendency to procrastinate. (Evidence that time and I need to come to an understanding, I know. But, that’s another post.) When the third battery wound to a complete halt, it served as my motivation to act–a few weeks later of course. Sigh. One watch is a quirky Minnie Mouse version I purchased during my first summer living in Las Vegas, NV back in the day. Minnie is sporting her typical babydoll dress and flirtatious pose in silver on a plain black background. The glass of the face is faceted to provide just enough sparkle as the light hits both to make me smile and to hinder my ability to focus on Minnie’s big hand all at the same time. My second watch was a gift from my Mom and Dad for my 30th birthday. It’s a demure and very professional-looking black leather and silver Ann Klein version with no numbers and a slight pin-stripe face. The watch that broke the camel’s back (so to speak) is a lovely Swiss Army Victorinox stainless steel linked variety that the Queen gave me in celebration of my 10-year anniversary at the day job. We often choose carefully–and people choose carefully for us–the instruments for marking our time.
It’s been an eventful week in my relationship with time. You may have read in the essays about birthdays and anniversaries I’ve been celebrating. Topping my gratitude list, I’ve been thankful for the joy of keeping time, of marking events in celebration. I’m realizing that time is celebration-worthy. So often in our striving to mark it this way or that way, we think of time as our enemy, and the keeping of it as a cumberson task that reminds us of how little we’ve done or how little of it we have remaining. We hate waiting. We resist moving forward. We’re disgruntled with looking back. We’re intimidated by looking ahead. We are even dissatisfied with this moment. With every passing day I mark, I want to resist this notion.
There is something very God-inspired about keeping time. The Bible’s account of Creation draws our attention to it with every action. “There was evening and there was morning, one day.” “There was evening and there was morning, a second day.” And so it goes. In the inception of time, the marking of it began. The commemoration of evening and morning. The capping off of one time period to usher in the next. The acknowledgement of time’s passage was ingrained from those very first moments.
Having just celebrated my first-born’s fifth birthday, the 2-year anniversary of EyeJunkie and a hundred other significant and more ordinary occurences evident in the passage of time, I find I’m grateful for the sheer joy of marking it. The joy of remembering, of remembering milestones. The joy of evaluating, of finding the value from seasons. The joy of even having time, of experiencing this life in sequence. The joy of celebrating time spent, invested. Together and apart. This marking defines a thousand starting points and perhaps just as many ending points and all the markers along the way. The counting down of hours and the counting up of years.
It’s true that this moment is all we have. We have memories, both bitter and sweet, of time passed. We have hopes and dreams of the time ahead of us. But, we are living THIS moment. If there is anything to be gained from the celebration of milestones, the marking of important events and significant (or even just regular) time periods, it is that this moment deserves an audience.
So, today, I’m sitting with attention. I’m moved by the action in front of me. I’m standing in an ovation. I’m offering applause. I’m so grateful to have put THIS moment on my calendar.
Oh Happy Day!