Sunday, May 24, 2015

Where The Time Goes

The calendar in our kitchen, how we track where our time goes.  Photo by J. Berta

"This is where the time goes in an ordinary town."

Lyrics from the 90s Alt-Rock band Sugar, their song, "Believe What You're Saying."

Greetings All:

In addition to the posts I have published, I've got a production.  Or, put another way, ones that I have started and for whatever reason, never finished.  This is one I started way back in January.  Yup, that long ago.

Here's the initial commentary of this post:

"It's a Tuesday night here in Bettendorf, Iowa.  It's a balmy 8 degrees (sans chill 'd wind).  Early this evening, there was much rejoicing in our home that school is cancelled due to the (ahem) inclement weather we're experiencing here in the Iowa

Who am I kidding?  It's (expletive-deleted) cold. 

Then again, I'm in a warm house, with plenty of light.  I've got my family with me and thanks to the internet, I've got a bunch of browsers open.  One's Facebook (no surprise there) and on another Peter Gabriel and Paula Cole are singing. 

Here is where my time is going, and as for ordinary, fine, I'll take it.

The song lyrics I quoted at the beginning are from a band that I stumbled across in law school.  The lead singer and (I don't think it's a stretch to say) the heart and soul of the band, Bob Mould, wrote this tune.  It is both heart-breaking and somewhat stoic as anything out of the 90s could be."

This post has been resting comfortably in the drafts folder for four months.  How the time goes indeed, it's already May.

And here's where we are as I write this blog post.  Photo by J. Berta

Time goes by and winds only one way, forward.  I will  venture to guess you are like me, lamenting there are not, (wait for it) more hours in the day.  Regrets, there are not.

There has been an explosion in the "peak performance" industry.  The artifact that was the palm pilot of the 90s has been replaced by the smart phone/tablet world of "apps" that can help you better track your events, and manage your life.  The latest edition to my world of "self/tech help" is the Fitbit.  (This device, linked conveniently to my iPhone, helps track steps and sleep and your calorie consumption.  (I've...declined to engage in that degree of candid fitness analysis, at least for now.  Sometimes, ignorance, while not bliss, is more comfortable than the brutal truth.)  For those of you who are curious as to what it looks like, here it is:

My Fitbit, photo by J. Berta.

These things are great.  I do believe they can empower us to be more productive.  However, to paraphrase the fictional Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket, such things, "...are only a tool."  We still have to do the work.  Part of the work, the job description, is to decide what to do.  Quoting one of my favorite song writers, Bob Seger's song, "Against The Wind," "What to leave in, what to leave out."

There is an author, Laura Vanderkam, whose written a series of books and articles about how successful people manage their lives.  I am impressed with her honest, yet not preachy, approach to this subject.  Oh, and by the way, she has four (very young) kids and is a regular runner.

This is someone who I will listen to when it comes to managing time.  I have a link to her site below.  I also have listened to most of her books and find there is lots of good advice in them.  It's not stuff we haven't heard before, it is just presented in a different way.  I have a link to an article she wrote about folks who attempt to crank out a novel in a month.  I invite you to read it, even if you do not have the ambition to write a book.     

This was posted on my friend Gina group's Facebook page about this photo of Mr. Jim "Pee Wee" Martin.  In a few weeks, it will be 71 years ago that Mr. Martin and a group of incredibly brave Americans plunged from planes into the darkness of Nazi-occupied France.  Their mission:  Liberate.   Here's the photo of him re-living that jump seven decades later:

Mr. Martin, after his 2014 jump, photo courtesy of Pin Ups For Vets, full link below in sources.

Here's the message that accompanied this photo on Facebook:  

"70 years ago, Jim "Pee Wee" Martin parachuted into France, behind German enemy lines, in the dark of night ahead of the D-Day invasion. At the age of 93, the World War ll veteran jumped into Normandy again, in a full military kit, to mark the anniversary of the June 6th landings by Allied troops. Before jumping he said, "They are worried about me getting hurt. I said, 'Don't worry about it. If I get hurt or I get killed, what is the difference? I've lived 93 years. I've had a good life.'"

How's that for knowing where you're time has gone?

I checked in to Mr. Martin's Facebook page (link below) and am pleased to report he's still with us, enjoying life and telling his story.

I thought it was fitting to feature him in this post, as this is Memorial Day Weekend.  I have a post coming tomorrow on that subject.  Memorial Day is traditionally viewed as the start of summer and features, parties, BBQs, ball games, big-box store sales and the sounds of various lawn care instruments.  In that, it might be easy to forget that the reason for a three-day weekend is to honor those who fell in defense of our nation.  

For those so departed, time has stopped.  It goes nowhere.  I'd invite you to, in your own way, think about them.  I know that when I do this, I realize I have a whole lot more time than I thought and I'm motivated to make the most of the time I have.  After all, it will be gone before I know it.

Be well my friends,

Sources: (This photo and story may also be the work of others, however, due to its origin on Facebook and has free sharing offered, it is deemed to be also governed under fair use and/or public domain for the purposes of this blog. 

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