We all have time. But how much?
And how will we spend it?
As an educator, I struggle with doing too much.
As a teacher, I packaged content endlessly, provided feedback on everything, read tirelessy, reflected on everything. It consumed me. It consumes many. Balance, alignment, living a rich life away from school – all of these things can be hard when there are no “hours of work” or boundaries of work. There is always more that can be done.
Many of us work really hard – too hard perhaps. But the passion for what we do, for changing life trajectories, is hard for others to understand at times.
It takes intention to stop and rethink the effectiveness of the effort and the purpose in how we spend our most valuable resource – time.
Recently, two dear friends spoke at my husband’s retirement celebration. They shared a timeline of his outstanding career in protecting Ontario’s natural resources. Then they focused on what is left in the timeline, and how we need to be intentional about how that time is used.
Retired US Fish and Game Officer Leo Suazo spoke eloquently about the value of time, and how after retirement, we have the opportunity to choose how we will share our gift of time. What life trajectories will we impact? What changes will we enable?
How will we use our time to support those doing good in the world?
So then, how does this help us decide how to spend that precious time? Perhaps a recent commencement address by Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean James Ryan helps us think this through.
Dr. Ryan proposes five good questions we can ask in all that we do.
The last question?
From Dr. James Ryan:
My claim is that if you regularly ask: wait, what, I wonder, couldn’t we at least, how can I help, and what really matters, when it comes time to ask yourself “And did you get what you wanted out of life, even so,” your answer will be “I did.”
How will you use your gift of time?
Featured image of Diane Corbett, Ian Anderson, Doug Hyde and Jim Fry (Ontario Provincial Peer Support Program) by Kira Fry, June 2016.
This post is dedicated to my father, Melville Charles Miller, who would have been 81 years old today, on this Fathers’ Day 2016.
His dedication to the natural resources of this province inspired many of the people who have continued that legacy.