Hourglass of Life

One thing I know for sure is that my hourglass has more sand on the bottom than on the top. This realization is not meant to be maudlin or overly sentimental; it is a fact. Another thing I know for sure is that my vision of life has gotten clearer (and not just because I had cataract surgery on both eyes). Here are just a few of my “visions.”

Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Yes, I have heard this all my life, but now that I am older, and people around me are getting sick and/or dying, it is really hitting home. Losing parents and aunts and uncles is very sad, but losing contemporaries is sobering. It reminds me that living every day and staying in the moment is even more important.

It is okay to say, “No.” I have been a people pleaser for most of my life. This often resulted in me being overworked, stressed out, or frustrated. There was no one to blame but myself. Now, I guard my time and energy and only commit to things that are important to me.

Not all people are meant to stay in your life. Over the years I have had many “friends” with whom I thought I would have long-lasting relationships. That isn’t how life works though. I use to be sad that I had not remained close with some of my friends, but I realize now that each person comes into our lives at a certain time for a certain reason. Not all are meant to be with us for a lifetime, and that’s okay.

Do what you love. So much of life is taken up with responsibilities and “have-to-do” moments. Not everything on the “have-to-do” list is of equal importance. It’s okay if I let the less important things go and do what is really important – spending time with my husband watching sports, reading, or writing.

The creation of this list is still a work in progress because every new day is an opportunity to see life through a different lens. The closer your focus, the clearer the view.

10 thoughts on “Hourglass of Life

  1. Rita, I love the idea of being able to see more clearly now that more sand has passed through the hourglass. That is a beautiful image of wisdom, and your learnings are such wisdom. The one that gave me comfort is about the friendships. I have moved a lot throughout my adult life, and I’ve regretted not staying in contact with more people. I appreciated thinking of it differently this morning.

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  2. I love your list and the reminders that we each could focus on what is really important. That’s one of the reasons why I retired after 35 years in the classroom, even though I probably could have gone another 2 -5. It was time to focus more on me and enjoying what I have in my life while I can.

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      1. It’s a hard decision. (I kept typing it’s a heart decision. It is that, too.) I loved teaching and I got to the point that I also dreaded it. I am happy with the choice I made. Now I sub (when I want to) so I’m still able to experience some of the fun of teaching without all the grunt work that goes with it! (I’m subbing only at elementary, and only for people I know. Most weeks I could work 4-5 days. I choose to work 2-3.)

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  3. Rita, this was a great story for me to read this morning since I’ve had many of these same reflections over the past week. My number one favorite thing to do now is spend time with my husband-to enjoy those ‘dating years’ again because like you said, “Tomorrow is not guaranteed.”

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  4. You have shared what is true for many of us who have been writing together here for years. It is not maudlin… it is fact. Acknowledging that helps us clarify our vision to focus on what we have learned to be important. As others have said in comments, your post is so meaningful. We are thinking about those things, too.

    Having moved a lot, I really appreciate “Not all people are meant to stay in your life.”- that acceptance is not easy, but I have known friends I was extremely close to… for a time. A very few have stayed in my life beyond that time. I struggled with that… but what you have said is true.

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  5. I have never thought about the hourglass metaphor, but it is true. I deeply feel this and think about it often. It is making me think about my own “visions” in my life.

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  6. Rita, I love this and can relate to it so well. We have lost many wonderful family members and sadly too many of my best friends are now widows. How we miss the dinner with these other couples. They all passed much too young. As the sand slips through that hourglass, I, too, gain clarity and have learned much the same lessons as you. We only have today and must make it count! This post is a keeper!

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  7. Thanks for sharing your vision. This piece describes my life as well as yours. We are blessed to be at this point in our lives where we can make choices – may we make them wisely! What a great metaphor using the hourglass of seeing life more clearly when the sand is not in the way.

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