About 7 or 8 weeks ago, I came down with the flu which, after 3 weeks, morphed into a long lasting case of bronchitis. I was taking a mixture of decongestants, mucus thinners, anti-inflammatory steroids and an inhaler. All this medicine kept my brain fuzzy. I am not telling you this seeking sympathy. I am setting up why my mind was fuzzy and I felt exhausted.
Now the point of the story. My manager called me into his office. He expressed his concern that I was irritable and seemed short with people. He inquired if I was upset with someone or something within the company. He had forgotten that I had apologized to him early on that I needed to concentrate harder to get through the fog caused by the medicines.
I apologized again for my behavior. I try to be very upbeat because I know that I influence others by my demeanor, as we all do. Just as other’s actions and reactions can affect us, our attitude and candor towards others affect them.
Even though I do not feel well, my trying to fight through the illness left me vulnerable to agitation. Luckily, my bronchitis is finally clearing. It was a great wake up call from my boss. It was a great reminder that even when we are not feeling well, our actions still have an effect.
I tried much harder today to be mindful of how I responded to others. It is too easy to be tired and allow our reactions to go unchecked. Sometimes, we need to be reminded that our actions do matter. Yes, even me. And that other guy, you know, the one in my mirror.
It is that time when we move our clocks ahead one hour. These events allow me to stop and consider time. It is very subjective. There are days at work when I arrive at work in the morning, look up at the clock and read 11:30 and swear that only 20 minutes went by, and other instances when the same time feels like a week long. Of course this has happened to you. As I grow older, time seems to slip by faster and faster. I actually wish it would slow down. Time passed so slow when I was very young and at times, I wish I had that again.
There are different calendars around the world. Even though the world at large recognizes the Gregorian calendar, native calendars are often used for religious and national holidays. In the Thai Buddhist calendar, the year is 2556. It is the Chinese Year of the Snake (Gui Si Year). It is year 1419 in the Bengali calendar. The current year of the Jewish calendar is 5773. So your concept of where we are in time depends on which calendar is on your wall.
As humans, we want to measure things, what’s bigger, what’s smaller, what’s better, what’s more valuable. Time measures when, how long and in what order. Time is fleeting. Another way we can measure time is the amount we spend with the ones we love. I read today a post of a boy who offered his father an hour’s pay so that he could spend more time with him, as his father worked all the time. I thought that was sad. But, I’m afraid that I could relate. I did the same thing when my sons were young. As the sole earner in the family, I dedicated much of my time working to support my family. Even though this is quite laudable, I believe I missed some valuable time with my sons. I needed to work but I do miss the time that could have been.
Fast forward to now. I try to make sure that I take the time to spend with my loved ones. I have dinner with my son and his wife at least once a month. They live over an hour away. My son works two jobs but still finds the time to have dinner. We meet him at a restaurant that is half way between us. I really appreciate that he understands how important it is to gather together. It is important that we work and provide. It is important that we let the ones we love know that we love them and spend quality time with them. Your employer can replace you readily but your loved ones can miss out on you for the rest of their lives.
Time slips by quietly and quickly. Don’t let the opportunities to spend quality time with your loved ones slip by as well. Spring forward to new opportunities. The future is made by the choices we make today.