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It's 'Time' for the Start of the New Year

by on January 05, 2015 6:15 AM

The gyms and health clubs will be filled with people pledging to find health and fitness for 2015.

Marie Osmond is once again hawking made-to-order food along with the other commercials for every kind of diet or diet pill available on the market.

People on social media and around the water coolers and dinner tables are pledging to give more, swear less, forgive, forget, find peace, be kind, eat healthy and make changes.

I'm just trying to hold on.

I don't know if it is a function of age or aging but it seems like we just started fall semester. Here it is January, and I'm packing up the Christmas stuff and my kids are talking about summer vacation plans. What happened to October? Did I lose November? Did I cook the turkey? Who wrapped the presents? Did we win the bowl game?

Sometimes it feels like life is moving faster than I can keep up.

Time has a way of playing tricks on us. On some days it feels like time is slipping by me. On others, I could wake up in the night to muffled cries from the next room and little hands reaching out for Mom in the dark. On the inside, time feels pretty much the same.

My resolution for 2015 is to make better use of my time.

It isn't about time management. I am a pretty good multi-tasker. I can let the dogs out, start the coffee, switch the laundry loads and get a run in while the other members of my household are still in REM sleep.

My resolution for 2015 is to change my focus on how I spend my time.

Humans are great about talking and thinking about "when." We are reportedly among the few creatures on this earth who understand that there is a next or an after. When I retire. When I pay off my bills. When I win the lottery. After I lose 10 or 20 or 30 pounds. When I find a mate. My next promotion. When. When. When.

We are so good about thinking and focusing on the when, we forget to consider the now.

In 2015, I am going to make better use of my now.

When my husband asks "Do you want to go walk around at Lowe's for absolutely no reason?" instead of thinking about laundry and cleaning the kitchen and that I don't have make-up on and how cold it is outside, I'm going to say yes.

On that beautiful Saturday afternoon that screams for yard work and weeding the garden, I'm going to pack up the dogs and head to Colyer Lake with a few tennis balls and a towel for the ride home.

Starting now, I'm going to unplug, turn off and tune in.

In the presence of my children, I'm going to put down my phone and sit and make eye contact and listen like I used to when they were little. I am not going to allow their increasing independence steal anymore time from me than it has to.

I'm going to try to make better use of my now.

I'm going to take the time to call that friend who is having a low point or who has hit some bumps and ask her to go for a walk. I'm not going to waste another minute on the "friend" who has shown me again and again that she doesn't value our friendship.

I am going to spend more time with people I care about and less time thinking "I should spend more time with people I care about."

Aging and time is a funny thing. As I stand solidly at middle age, I see people around me giving in and others giving it a fight. There are those who say "I'm too old to do that or wear that or think about that" while others fight with a fervor that includes plastic surgeons and the search for the proverbial fountain of youth. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

Either way, time is going to catch up with all of us eventually but it is our attitude about time that makes the difference.

One of my colleagues uses the concept of time with incoming university freshmen. At an average estimated life span of almost 79 years in today's United States, we have almost 41,522,400 minutes to spend in our lifetime. His question to the new kids on campus is "How will you spend your minutes while you are here? Will you use them on alcohol and parties and wasted opportunities or will you spend them to gain experiences and to fill your life's bucket list?"

My resolution for this year is to use my remaining minutes to the best of my ability.

In the words of Dr. Seuss "How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?"

It's what we do with our time that can make the difference. Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy 2015.

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Patty Kleban is an instructor at Penn State, mother of three and a community volunteer. She is a Penn State Alumna. Readers of State College Magazine voted her Best Writer of 2010 and 2012. She and her family live in Patton Township. Her views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State.
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