The best use of my time? That’s a hard question! In the work world, I have been told often that doing a menial task, even one that I enjoyed, was not the best use of my time. My friend Joan shared an article with me written by Sherdcan Voysey about the culture of rush: “so many of us today feel rushed doing our jobs, working long hours, checking email multiple times a day, and feeling pressured to meet tighter and tighter deadlines.” The need for instant gratification is out of control.
I have six watches and eight clocks and that doesn’t count the ones on my stove, microwave or electronic devices. I’m eyeing a ninth. You would think that with so many timepieces would recognize how quickly time flies by and what a gift a moment is. I haven’t quite learned that lesson. I waste time procrastinating over doing laundry or cleaning house or unloading the dishwasher and let’s not even talk about the hours I seem to spend on Facebook or the rabbit holes I find myself going down with each internet search.
Then what is the best use of my time?
I think maybe the time I spend with my granddaughters. The two of them light up my world. I’ve lost my parents, aunts and uncles so there’s not a generation older than I am (scary in itself) so I am the sage one, the matriarch, the crone. It’s up to me to impart my wisdom (such as it is). I need to tell my girls stories of their ancestors so that when the time comes for them to fly, they will know they come from a long line of strong women, have deep roots and will always have a soft place to fall.
When the oldest was born some six years ago, I decided that I would be the one to teach her the old way of doing things, leaving the modern technology to her parents. I bought her building blocks and a Raggedy Ann doll, let her play with a 35 year old rubber duck in the bathtub. We had tea parties; she “cooked” gourmet meals in her play kitchen. We watered plants and sat in the porch swing counting the birds on the utility lines and making up stories about them as they flew away. We would talk about all the ocean creatures in the Gulf as we drove along the Seawall. We talk about how important it is to take care of our planet (or, as she called it as a pre-schooler, the plamut).
Now there’s a toddler who is picking up where her cousin left off. She loves to color and loves for me to color with her! She’ll find my reading glasses, then insist that I “put them on eyes” and “color it! Color it!” She likes to sit quietly in my lap as we watch the world outside. We look for squirrels; we talk about the clouds, the trees and the sky. She loves to feel the wind on her face and in her hair.
Daily life is simple with me – the holidays are another story. I decorate every room for every holiday and tend to go overboard. I hope, when they’re telling their children about their grandmother, these will be their memories, that when it came to them I was over the top.
I have always known my family was my greatest treasure and now I know to treasure every minute. The minutes go by too quickly and my grandgirls are growing up too fast.
Building a legacy?
Making memories with them?
That’s the best use of my time.