Time…We can’t stop the clock, but if we recognize that a moment passed is a moment gone forever, we might want to make different choices about how we spend it.
Money, a good name, and even health can be regained, but a tick of the clock can never be retrieved. Is that why the present is thus called – to highlight the unique gift of the moment? Every moment has an exclusive energy to be utilized, a calling to be heeded, and a purpose for which it alone was created.1
There are those who live by the year. They look back on the year and judge it in its entirety. Was the bulk of the year productive and maximized? If yes, then they had a good year. And, there are those who live life by the day. Each day is treated as a chapter in their life, every hour a paragraph, and every moment as a sentence. We can then ask, are each of your days productive and did you reach your potential on a daily basis?
So many of us remain stuck in multitasking mode. We struggle with finding the time, instead of focusing on making it.
How do we create, value or acknowledge time? In Judaism, observant Jews go from the mundane workweek to sanctifying one day a week from a prescribed time on Friday evening until a prescribed time on Saturday night. This time is called Shabbat (or Shabbos for many). There is an acknowledgment that when G-d created the world, He rested on the seventh day. And so, after the Shabbos candles are lit, and the soft, warm light fills the room, life stops as we know it. We enter a new consciousness. We delve deeper. How? There is no computer, no phones, no lights, no cooking, no television or video games; in other words, no form of “work” whatsoever.
But, all those “no’s” turn into one big YES! A chance to delve deeper to create a soul-full experience; an opportunity not to run, but to make time meaningful enjoying loved ones and guests, eating together without distraction, walking to the synagogue, essentially slowing down.
There are a myriad of ways to set aside time to make it precious and meaningful. I’m utilizing my own personal experience with Shabbos as an example to support you to create your own unique experience. Whether it be “Coffee Saturdays” during which you choose a time to delve deeper with a loved one or a day of the week when all social media is put aside for family time – enjoying a meal together, playing board games, creating your own family scenario, it matters not.
We can allocate our time as part of our ‘emotional legacy’ by designating special time every week and elevating it – and ourselves – and in my eyes, creating time well spent.
Amy Austin is a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFC# 41252) and doctor of clinical psychology in Rancho Mirage. Dr. Amy can be reached at (760) 774.0047.
Reference: 1) Lubavitcher Rebbe’s teachings published in Likkutei Sichot, vol. 5 p. 33