I’ve been blessed to be given 86,400 seconds in one day but in the blink of an eye, the day is gone. I turn around and a week has slipped away from me and I can’t get any of that time back. I smile at life’s oddities and I laugh at one joke before I realize that an entire month has run into the horizon and gotten lost in the sea of yesterdays. I cannot seem to comprehend that even though the hands of the clock have returned to it’s original position, it will never again be the time before.
My sister has been travelling for several weeks now and it’s the first time that I’ve seen her for more than a few hours in a month. I’ve indulged her every whim and we’ve watched several episodes of BBC’s Merlin and I’m waiting for the opportune moment to add in some Doctor Who. I’m exhausted and the dark circles under my eyes toe the line between shadows and valleys but I will do anything to make her smile. I leave to go back to school soon and I want her to be able to treasure the time she had with her older sister and remember the late nights we spent quoting sassy British tv shows. It’s the little sacrifices that add up over time. Like grains of sand in an hourglass, all these memories will fill her mind and I’ll be happy if she will think upon me with a smile and know she was loved.
On the spur of the moment, I stopped by a boutique store on the way home from work today because they were having a sale and I needed a few new shirts for school (and let’s be honest, after surviving this long as a nanny, I needed a small reward to motivate myself to finish strong). I wasn’t dressed like I wanted to see anyone and the goal was to get in and get out quickly so I would have some time to spend with my sister before heading off to my second job. I was browsing the sale rack with my goal and money in hand when I heard a voice a few feet away. I looked up, intending that my only response would be my acknowledging glance.
When I did, I found myself looking at a dear friend from college who has been on my mind a few times this summer. She wasn’t even supposed to be in the state so imagine my surprise when she was shopping in the same city as me! We don’t know each other terribly well but I appreciate her friendship more than she knows. I didn’t have much time to spend in the store but I’m glad I got to spend it by catching up with her. Laura has the most contagious smile and — this is hard to admit because I love fashion blogs and shopping — I’m beginning to think that I didn’t need to go shopping to cheer myself up. Maybe all I needed was the hug from a friend that I haven’t seen in awhile and the promise to get coffee together when we go back to school. And Laura, if you do read this, I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks and guzzle down the coffee while we complain how tired we are of school when we have only just started 🙂
Needless to say, I was still tired when I got home and saw my sister. When I came back from my job, I was even more tired and by the time my sister and I had got through a few more episodes of laughter and Merlin, I was exhausted. To be honest, I can barely keep my eyes open while typing this. But my spirit is considerably lighter and I felt that I cashed in all 86,400 seconds given to me today.
No, I didn’t get another chapter of my book edited. No, I didn’t wash my sheets like I’ve been meaning to for the past two days and I didn’t finish folding a load of laundry that has been calling my name. No, I didn’t get to paint like I needed to because my project is on a strict deadline. No, I didn’t unclog the sink drain in my bathroom. There were a lot of things that I didn’t get done today but I don’t feel like I wasted a single bit of time. No, I didn’t even get to see my mom today because we both worked and I was still at my second job when she went to bed. However, I am blessed that I was able to spend a few moments of time with people that I love and appreciate more than anything — even if I only interacted with my mom over a phone call while driving.
No matter how many times I flip the hourglass over again, those are 86,400 seconds that I will never get back. And I don’t consider a single one of them wasted.