David Bowie Knows About Change

David-Bowie

David-BowieI have been slightly MIA for the past couple of weeks due to the Thanksgiving holiday and…a new job! Yes, I’m back in the workforce, back on the Merritt Parkway and back to setting alarm clocks. What’s old is new again and I couldn’t be more grateful.
As my kids and I ready for the Christmas season, I’m dumbfounded by how quickly the year has gone by. I realize everyone says how fast time is going but for some reason 2016 was particularly speedy. Perhaps it was because of the monumental changes in my life – and around the world. Perhaps it was due to days jam packed with tasks and activities that made time slip through my fingers. Whatever it is, there’s no question that my mom was right.

She told me when I was a teenager – always wanting to be older than I was – to stop wishing my life away. She told me that as I got older, time would go by faster and faster. It’s clear she knew something I didn’t.

I see the same mentality in my children – wanting time to speed up, for difficult classes to be over and for birthdays to arrive sooner. It seems they have both inherited my impatience gene and try as I might to tell them to appreciate where they are, my words – much like my mom’s to me – fall on deaf ears.

It’s natural to want painful things to be over quickly. Who wants to suffer? Long lines at grocery stores or oodles of traffic test our patience and resolve to be a good person. Believe me, I get it. It is a daily struggle for me to remain calm when things aren’t moving as fast as I’d like – or worse, don’t go the way I want them to.

Lessons abound lately on the topic of patience and appreciating the present moment. I believe this is and will continue to be a lifelong lesson for me. My Type A plus personality is one of efficiency and achieving goals. I almost always have to be working on something – anything so as to not waste time. My mind wanders to the next best thing nearly as soon as the previous best thing arrives on my to-do list.

Recently, I was given a glimpse into the value of appreciating the present moment. That glimpse came from my two great nieces who I had the pleasure of spending time with over the holiday. With no concept of time, each of them simply lived in the moment, whether that was playing with stickers from their grandma or enjoying a new food with their newly-minted teeth.

baby-fingers

As I held my nearly 8-month old niece who soon will not be “hold-able” any longer, I soaked in her little giggles as she and I played peek-a-boo. I breathed in that baby smell that is more addicting than my beloved Fritos. For the first time in a while, I didn’t want time to fly by. I wanted to hold that child until the cows came home.

But that of course will never be. She is already crawling and soon will be walking, moving on to her next best thing. That’s what babies do. I was advised when my own children were this age that I should appreciate the time as it would go quickly. I remember thinking that time passing quickly was exactly what I wanted to happen. Night-time feedings, potty training and tantrums could not be done with fast enough. Oh how wrong I was.

My son recently turned 19 and my daughter will be 16 in a few months. It was only yesterday that I was doing with them, what I now do with my great nieces. Where did the time go? While they are wanting time to speed up, their mom is wanting time to sloooww down. But of course, this will not happen. Time is what it is and it’s up to me what I do with it.

Coincidentally – or not, the messages I am getting during my early morning prayers have been centered on time. So much so that I was given the direction to put reminders on my phone in order for me to remember to get out of my head and listen to my heart. Instead of plowing through my day, I was told to take a break, to check in with God and regroup if needed.

This message sums up the year for me – live in the moment. Appreciate what you have right now. Be grateful for that nanosecond when someone smiled at you or your favorite song came on the radio or you got an unforgettable hug from your child. Relish those moments when all is right in your world and give thanks every day – not just once a year.

Because I believe that in those moments of gratitude, when we give thanks for the little things, that it puts a smile on God’s face resulting in even more blessings coming our way.

We live in ever-changing times where nothing is certain. Rapid change is a part of our daily lives as David Bowie sang about so many years ago. We can turn and face the change or be overcome by it.

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

Jen’s Gem: Becoming mindful of the blessings we have amidst the constant change is so critical because in those moments our hearts are full and it is those full and thankful hearts that will bring us that peace we all desire, for ourselves, our loved ones and the world.

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