Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tick Tock

photo credit
The other night I watched the following dialogue take place on a popular television show:

Computer Geek: NO! I don't have the work ready for you yet. I need more time. I haven't had enough time.

Wise and Noble Main Character: Not enough time? You have exactly the same amount of hours in your day as Albert Einstein. Thomas Jefferson. Marie Curie. And look what they managed to accomplish! Now stop complaining and get your work done.

This conversation caught my attention because the Wise and Noble Main Character's whole point wasn't the comparison between what the different individuals were trying to accomplish, it was how long they had to accomplish it. If Albert Einstein managed to develop the Theory of Relativity in the amount of time he was alloted, surely the rest of us can manage our measly little tasks. Can't we?

Honestly, not always. Some days finding and putting on our shoes takes an eternity at my house. I'm constantly aware of the reality that my childrens' time table of when and how long it should take to accomplish a given task does not match up with my own. You are only as fast as your slowest team mate-isn't that what they say in sports? The same is absolutely true in families. You are only as fast as your slowest child.

Yet even if I am destined to spend this portion of my life moving at the glacial pace of my children, the work is in progress. And I find the promise of the above quote reassuring. Regardless of our many other disparities, we all have the same amount of time to make something of our lives as everyone else around us. Think of the people in your life who you admire most. Sure, they might have different resources or life situations than you, but you share the same possibilities in terms of time. What can you make of the raw material your life has given you?

I am one hundred percent bored by Einstein's theories, Jefferson's politics, and Curie's radioactive physics too. But I am inspired by each of them because they worked really, really hard to be great in their own small universe. Okay, maybe they weren't working in a "small universe," maybe they won Nobel prizes and influenced the entire course of science and history, but still. The example they set is solid. Use your time wisely. Get to work and stop complaining. Find the toddler's shoes and get out the door already. Whatever little universe you have built for yourself, use your precious time to make it great! 


  1. Every day I pray for the inspiration to use my time wisely, and yet I still find myself wasting too much of my time. You amaze me with what you are able to accomplish with the same amount of time that I have.
    Love ya!

  2. I think I've finally realized that I have to let a lot of things go in order to focus on specific areas in my life. I don't think any one individual is good at doing everything, I think the trick is to focus on what is most important to you. There are lots of areas of my life that remain my junk drawers because I don't make time to do better.


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