By Holley Kelley, M.S., C.P.G., FT
I started a new radio show in late July called Aging GreatFULLy. The show’s first guest featured 101-year old centenarian Dr. Shirley Zussman, a brilliant dynamo who is still practicing in her field of sexology in New York today. Her guest appearance was cut short on my show due to some technical issues which affected our TIME together. Speaking of TIME, it has certainly been on Shirley’s side. As I announced Happy Birthday to her in acknowledgment of her 102nd Birthday on air, I told her that she was born the year Mother’s Day was established by the U.S. Congress on May 7th, 1914. It’s hard to believe there was a TIME when there was no Mother’s Day! TIMES are constantly changing.
We ran out of TIME on the show all too quickly, to discuss other important matters, including her field of specialty and expertise—sex. While that was not the focus of the show’s topic, it was her professional area of expertise—and as a gerontologist; I was interested in the role sex played in longevity. We ended with hopes of continuing the conversation again in the future, even celebrating Birthday 103! It seems TIME affects a lot of what we do today.
August is here, and it is known as the final month of summer. “Where did the TIME go?” Soon, the hustle and bustle of a busier schedule will hijack the leisure days of summer and then we will be captured by the shift into holiday overdrive. Our TIME will be spent decorating, going to parties, shopping for gifts, getting ready for this and that. But most of all, I want to be sure I cherish the TIME, because isn’t that really the point of it all?
I have a thought each week for my radio show that I call my “Alphabet Soup for the Psyche.” This week’s thought was simple, “You may delay but TIME will not,” by Benjamin Franklin. I love this quote because it is so straightforward, yet powerful and resonating.
A friend of mine in Florida shared with me her father is on hospice and she and her family are facing his last mortal days in preparation of his final journey in this life. They are coping with the many emotional challenges of being with him in grief, loss, love, and suffering. But in the midst of it all, they also recognize they have the beautiful gift of TIME. Final fragments of gifted moments in which they can share their love, life, BE together, have TIME to leave no words left unsaid. And in this small endowment of TIME—they are grateful.
By last week’s end, my other friend was attending his father’s funeral in Tennessee and laying him to rest at the age of 95. His gift was returning from a vacation at the beach in TIME to have a few moments with his dad before he peacefully passed. The other gift was the peculiar reality of how funerals, in the wake of a grief and loss, bring families closer together for a brief TIME of bereaved-ridden solidarity. It is almost the decedent’s perfect wish fulfilled in the most enigmatic manner to have everyone come together in honor of them—despite their absence—and knowing this unification somehow brings inexplicable silent yet faint facets of healing to those affected.
YOU may delay…but TIME will not. Remember, TIME is our most precious commodity. You cannot buy it when it is no more. But you can often reorganize and restructure your life to use it for its most valuable and compelling manner. Consider this in August and throughout the coming months. Benjamin definitely had a winner here.
Think about what matters most. Cancel a meeting. Come home early with a bag of groceries and invite the entire family into the kitchen and have everyone join in to help prepare a family meal together. Laugh. Unite. Find ways each day to connect more with those you love. Put what matters most in your life first. In the end, all we really have is TIME until it is no more. In retrospect, wouldn’t it be great to look back and find joy in how you chose to spend it? Don’t delay. Time won’t. Each day offers 86,400 seconds. Tick Tock! Live. Love. Unify. And do it all with Flair, Finesse, and FUNctionality so you can life your BEST life NOW!