November 23, 2013

It’s About Time

It’s About Time
By John R. Greenwood

This piece is about time. Not in a, “We’ve been wondering where you’ve been?” sense but in a,“Time is racing by so fast I can’t stop it long enough to cross the street.” sense. I have many more things on my list than I have time for and prioritizing them has become a complex and draining ritual. 

We all have long lists of responsibilities we drag around like a Samsonite filled with old bricks. Each fulfilled obligation replaced with another. It’s been that way since high school graduation in June 1973. The adults in our lives back then tried to warn us. We are now realizing how smart those dinosaurs were. I am not complaining, I have no right to. My life has been blessed with two warmhearted sons, a beautiful wife who bakes delicious things for me and a steady job that I tend to under-appreciate. The balance between living life like you had three days left and living it like a mature, experienced, and responsible adult is a tricky one to maneuver. I start and end each day like I’m crossing a raging river on a Valvoline coated railroad tie. 

What is protocol? Where do you abandon responsibility and embrace spontaneous reaction? How do you maximize personal potential without shelving certain things on that, “Should Do” list. Where is that fine line between my list and my spouse’s list? Both lists surely include one another in some way. Lately this juggling act has consumed any quiet moment of more than ten minutes. My fervor to create something of some significance has impregnated my every move. I’m like a drug sniffing shepherd who knows it’s in the middle of that pallet of boxes but doesn’t have all the tools to actually get to the stash. 

I woke up early this quiet Saturday morning with that keyboard itch that constantly follows me around waiting to pounce on the first inkling of something worth writing about. It chased me all the way through my morning workout to the Keurig and my first cup of coffee. It kept poking me down the hall and to the PC where it now has me in it’s tight grasp. Sometimes I sit at the computer like drag racing’s John Force revving at the start of the quarter mile waiting for that green light moment that sends my mind spinning like a set of smoking tires.

This very moment is a perfect example. It’s a fall Saturday morning. My list includes leaf piles, garage piles, and piles of unread books. Mrs.G’s list is a true list that includes Thanksgiving preparation, food, and cleaning supplies. We have yet to compare our lists but when you’ve been married for thirty-eight years you know the drill. It’s a balance of need versus want, him versus her, you versus me. It’s a chess game they call life. Marriage adds a dollop of challenge to creating a doable list. Time is always the deciding factor. 

So for the time being I will grab time by the arm and yanks him along. I have no time to argue, no time to waste. What time is it anyway? Wow, where did that hour go? 


  1. For each person -- there is a way to find out how to manage time to one's benefit. Tell me if you ever find out -- barbara

    1. I have no problem managing it for my benefit, it's managing it in a way that maintains peace and harmony in the home and the workplace that has me stumped like a grown man with a Rubik's Cube.

  2. I hate to tell you, but I think it is often a game of "tug of war" - figuring out when it is time to be reeled in and when to let go… Creativity, when it tingles on the fingertips, often can not be answered. I think it is a drive we have to push aside at times… :) Good luck. When you figure it out, let us know.