I drove my daughter to NYC this weekend and helped her move into a new apartment in Harlem. The time I had with Bea got me thinking about the gift of time. Most of us don’t know how much time we have here on earth so it’s easy to waste it. It seems like we have an unlimited amount of time so why worry about it?
Driving with Bea and a van packed with her clothes, kitchen goods, and furniture took time away from my writing, artistic endeavors, theater, and work. And it was delightful. My full focus was on Bea and on getting her moved. When your kids are in their 20s, time with them is limited – as it should be. So what a gift it was to have 10 or so hours on the road chatting about life and love, work and art, purpose and fun.
And then there was the carrying. We parked a half-block away which was good for a city move, and toted 10 loads of bags and boxes down the block, across 125th Street, and up four flights of stairs. Then we just had the dresser and table to move. We took our time. We stopped a lot and paused between flights of stairs. We worked together – at times too out of breath to chat but then we’d catch our breath and laugh at how hard this was physically and how out of shape we felt!
It seemed like the van was never going to be empty, but then we were done. The van was clear. There was one more load of stuff to pick up in Brooklyn from her last apartment, but we miraculously found another great parking space in Harlem when we got back and moved in her last few pieces.
As I was driving home in the now empty van, I thought about how much I hate to waste time and how wonderful the trip had been because I had one thing to focus on: getting Bea into her new sanctuary. I felt grateful and peaceful knowing I spent this time well.
The gift of time is a gift of attention – to yourself or to another person or group of people. When you choose how you spend your time with intent and then stay focused on the task at hand, you’re fully present and gratitude will wash over you. However you spend your time, please don’t waste it. Choose your work. Choose your play. Choose your art. And spend your time as if it’s the gift it is.
P.S. Everytime Bea moves she says, “That’s it! I’ll never move again.” But when she moves again, and she will, I’ll be there in a heart beat. Being with Bea. What could be better?
This is posted on a building on Bea’s new block. It’s a sign for a little school, but I took it as a blessing for the street :).
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