Hanging out at a hospital gives you a lot of “time” to consider how you want to spend your time. My parents used to say “time and money can only be spent once.”
The big difference I’ve learned is money can be won and lost earned and burned again and again. Time can never be recovered. Time is infinite and also finite in our worldly understanding and use of it. So as I sit on the oncology unit listening to the sounds of children and young adults living with cancer, I am reminded of the importance of how we choose to spend our time and who we choose to spend it with.
Will is sweating out his chemo on the Peloton bike in the teen room. Little Eric is playing with toy dinosaurs while his chemo slowly drips into his body. Cole plays video games while receiving a much needed transfusion of whole blood. Parents are taking turns in the family showers as they care for kids too sick to ambulate. Nurses giggle and laugh and whisper when necessary. They gown up and put on masks and gloves in preparation to deliver the next chemo. And each of these individuals does this while time quietly marches on.
For some of us the clock will stop sooner than for others. And I cannot help but wonder if I will be satisfied with how I have spent my time. I want to leave this planet completely spent with nothing left to give of myself. I want to know that I have loved hard and lived fully. I want my “time” to matter. And most importantly, I want the people I have loved so fiercely to feel I gave myself and my time in ways that were meaningful to them.
This week I challenge you to be thoughtful about your time. Commit your time to the things that matter—your loved ones, your meaningful work, your health, your personal growth, or anything else that is important to you. I know you’ll find you’re more content and fulfilled.