Time is not a renewable resource

by helen on September 17, 2010

This week at the school bus stop I heard some gut-wrenchingly sad news. One of the 2nd graders in my daughter’s school had lost his mom to cancer.

I didn’t know her. But I immediately felt a deep sadness for this family, this wife and mother, who would no longer hold and tend her children and watch them grow up.

My throat ached for the husband and young children who had lost their key love anchor.

As I checked on my sleeping children that night, I felt a deep wave of appreciation for their presence in my life.  As my lips brushed their soft little cheeks I thought about the children who are going to bed without their mothers kisses. The children who will live their lives without the constancy and presence of her sacred, maternal love.

I woke up during the night thinking about it. I wrote this article at 4:45am, typing in the dark on my iphone so not to wake anyone.

I hear the snuffled and rhythmic sleeping sounds of my nearest and dearest – my husband, warm by my side, and down the hall I hear my 2 children’s sleep sounds as they dream away (noises clearly audible thanks to seasonal allergies!).

What comes to me at times like this is a deep need to share a message, I guess the message even woke me up to be shared.  It’s a call to action.

The message is – Don’t wait.

Don’t wait to tell those you love how much you love them.

Don’t wait for something be perfect before you make a move. (There’s no such thing as perfect anyway, and inspired action is a path of learning and resilience and full-on living).

Don’t wait to bring your innate gifts and talents to the world.

Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to add in exercise or heathy eating. Start now. Treat your body as the temple that it is.

Don’t wait to show yourself love.  There are opportunities throughout each day to be more loving to yourself.  Take them.

Don’t wait to prioritize your wants and needs, and get in touch with your strengths and values, and then use them.

Don’t wait until you feel ‘in the mood’ or are ‘not tired’ to make loving time with your partner.

Don’t wait to fully engage in a rich and authentic life.

Don’t wait to show up fully as you.

Don’t wait to kiss your kids or stop the busy-ness and get down on the floor and play with them.

Don’t wait to connect with your inner truth and bring on your own brand of rock star and genius. That’s what the world is waiting for.

Don’t wait to bring some form of mindfulness into your day – the science is in – the benefits are clearly proven.

Don’t wait to appreciate what you already have.  Right now.  Warts and all.  Exactly as it is.  Gratitude is a grower of gifts.

Don’t wait to schedule play, to rest, to laugh, to frolic.

Don’t wait to ask for help or support and then receive it, if that’s what’s needed.

Don’t wait to lend a helping hand.

I don’t want to be morbid or strike fear in your hearts but it’s no secret that no day is guaranteed to us.

None of us have a signed contract with life. Time is not a renewable resource.

While we fret and worry about this and that, we miss the link that there are no certainties in life. So with that in mind – what is your don’t wait list?

Write it down and connect with it. Then take the next baby step and keep going.

With any luck you still have many miles and adventures ahead of you. Make each one count.

And if you’re feeling a little stuck or momentarily directionless, here are some great questions –

What am I waiting for?

What’s stopping me?

What can I learn about what’s stopping me and how can I overcome it?

I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to share a comment below.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie Foley September 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Oh, Helen – this brought me to tears! I, too, learned of an unexpected death of a young woman this week. You’re not being morbid. I’m going to chew on EVERY ONE of your ways not to wait. Scratch “chew” – make that ACT! Thanks for the gift of this post.

Nona September 17, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Helen, thank you so much for this poignant post. It is moments like the one you had at the bus stop that ask us to wake up, to look around, and to do what we are here to do. I’m not waiting and I doubt anyone who reads your post will, either.


Kim Higgins September 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Helen, thank you for sharing. It is a reminder to me that although I overcame my own scare and was given the gift of a catalyst to make significant changes in my life, I can be reminded not to take for granted this second chance. Thank you. XO

Jill Nicole Bluming September 17, 2010 at 3:48 pm

What a beautifully rendered sentiment… On my Don’t Wait list: don’t wait to open myself to a loving relationship again.

Kirsten Cole September 17, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Thank you so much for such a touching and beautiful post and the reminder “not to wait” to do what is truly important in life. It is true that “time is not a renewable resource” and all that we have is right now. I am going to keep this post at the forefront of my mind as I hang out with my loved ones this weekend and really connect with them as if now is all we have. 😉 Thanks again for the post!

Diane September 17, 2010 at 6:10 pm

No waiting here. I LOVE YOU!!!

Amy September 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Helen, I’m so glad you got up to write this. It made me cry – so inspiring. Reminds me of a quote I came across the other day:
“You don’t write because you want to say something; you write because you’ve got something to say.” – Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald

helen September 17, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I am so honored and thankful to have such heartfelt and beautiful comments on this post. Deepest thanks to you all. Really, this message is key for me too. Something I want to practice and not forget. Each of your comments is such a gift. Love, Helen

Deb Droz September 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Helen, thank you for this. I’ve had several people in my life affected by cancer and not make it, and affected and did get that second chance. Each time it was a wake up call to me. But then you forget and life takes it’s own course…but what you are saying is it is up to us NOT to forget. Thank you for the reminder, and thank you for writing from your heart in the middle of the night!

Susan Hyatt September 18, 2010 at 8:45 am

Helen–I have been trying to articulate this in my mind, and you did this so gorgeously.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

indrani September 18, 2010 at 9:03 am

Oh Boy Helen… you hit it on the nose.
Thanks for your 445am wisdom

Helen September 18, 2010 at 9:15 am

Thanks so much Deb, Susan and Indrani for your comments. I think this is the challenge, remembering and acting on the learning or messages from the ‘hit on the nose’ or previous times we have had wakeup calls, no matter the cause. I so appreciate your comments. Kindest, Helen

Ursula September 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Wonderful post,Helen! Thanks for sharing these heart-felt and profound truths with us!

helen September 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Thanks Ursula. I so appreciate your comment. Today I’m brainstorming strategies to keep this truth front and center so our lives can be more loving and joyful in the present.

Cath Duncan September 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Beautiful, important reminder. Thank you, Helen.

Maura September 19, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Helen, this is beautiful! We just lost a neighbor in a car accident and it was such a reminder of your message here. Posting to Facebook!

Jen Trulson September 19, 2010 at 5:11 pm

So grateful to you and all those who shared on FB… because of the sharing I stumbled across your post and it was by no accident. My heart is heavy for the family affected by the loss. Thank you for sharing from your heart the message you received and passing it on to us… what a gift.

helen September 20, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Cath – thanks so much for your comment. Your inspiration is one of my favorite things!

Maura – thanks so much for your comment and post on Facebook. Much appreciated. I’m sorry for the loss of your neighbor.

Jen – Thanks so much for your comment, it’s so lovely to hear that it has been a gift to readers. This is the first blog post I have posted on Facebook and I have so appreciated the feedback received and that I was able to share this middle of the night message.

Jennifer Voss September 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Helen –
This is so beautiful. And timely. On my list: Don’t wait to act on my calling in this world.
Thank you!

helen September 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Hi Jennifer, thanks so much for your kind comment and for sharing your ‘don’t wait’. And what a precious and inspired ‘don’t wait’ it is. Love Helen

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