It takes time to succeed, because success is merely the natural reward of taking time to do anything well. Joseph Ross
My mother died in May of 2005. I would like to say that my Mom and I were always close but this is not so. We didn’t forge a bond until well into my adult years. For years growing up it was as if we were polar opposites and the disparity between us developed early on. It wasn’t that we bickered and fought but there was a silent and apparent understanding that we viewed life very differently.
Mom was a slow mover; she took her time in most everything she did. She got it done, but was thorough and unhurried about it. She wasn’t moved or frustrated by my huffs and long sighs. I just had to wait until she was done. She was one to take the time to do it correctly.
But she was this way with people as well; patient and considerate and understanding to a fault she was. She didn’t jump to conclusions based on hearsay and gossip, headlines and speculations. She waited to hear the whole story; and even then she waited some more because she had to be sure.
I am on the other end of this scale. I generally make decisions quickly. Even as others are speaking I am already drawing conclusions as to what my reply will be. I am a, just-get-to-the-point kind of person. It has helped and hurt me equally; I have hastily made decisions on matters when I should have waited. I’ve said ‘yes’ to a project before I realized it was much more than I could handle. I’ve been impatient with projects and have shoved past them quickly because the results I needed didn’t come fast enough. I’ve been impatient with myself, especially with my growth as a writer. It has not been until recent years that I have slowed it down and have begun to take time. Unfortunately Mom didn’t get to see this change in me.
In a world where the just of our news can be crammed into a half an hour or where three minutes is too long to wait on a nuked full-course meal it seems ridiculous to tell someone to take time. Yet taking the time to do it at a reasonable pace can mean the difference between getting it right or completely botching it. Yet I am determined to make even more changes this year. I will take some time this year to:
- Chew over information slowly so that I understand and can make complete and informed decisions.
- Listen to people without constructing a response before they are even finished answering.
- Hear and listen to my kids before making speculations about what they really want
- Enjoy the people with whom I keep company without making excuses as to why I cannot stay a little longer
- Listen to the world around me and allow it to be reflected in my writing; especially in the area of fiction writing.
Time is a precious commodity and arguably as valuable as money. Although it seems limitless, it is not. One day we will look back and wonder where it all went. Meantime, I’m determined to spend it wisely.