You know what its like… when you are running out of time? Regardless of the fact that man created ‘time’ in order to be more organized, feel efficient, and tick things off their to-do list, we hold to it and get upset when others do not respect it.
Let’s say I wanted to get really deep – and today, my eyes are bleary and it exhausts me to even ‘go there’ but the deeper meaning of my title is just as poignant as the literal one.
When a big holiday approaches I find it exciting to whip out my pen with the ink that flows effortlessly, a pad of paper (with lines of course) and begin list-making.
However, this particular night of whatever-holiday-it-was, the gas stopped. There was no fire, my water did not boil, my dough hung in the oven on the verge of deflating.I plan accordingly. Buying what I need to start cooking the feast of a lifetime (which is pretty much always, we need less holidays people!) and focusing my energies in the kitchen like a sergeant leading his battalion, every product gets lined up and placed in a designated area along with its recipe card. My goal is to clean as I go but sometimes I run out of time. The phone rings while I have my hands in some dough, or the timer dings while my hands are full of suds. No matter what time of day the sunsets signifying the beginning of the holiday I am working until the very last minute before I jump in the shower and scrub off the hard days’ work in 30 seconds or less.
We have 2 gas containers – huge containers – and the rule in our house is:, ‘you kill it, you fill it’. This applies to the toilet paper roll, ice tea container, ice trays, the milk bag, the gas. When one tanks empties the other gets turned on and a call is made to replace the empty one. Since that clearly didn’t happen here I was standing in the kitchen with only a few hours left with no way of cooking the rest of the meal. I was hosting about a billion guests and started to really get nervous. Sending my husband to the local hardware store to purchase an electric burner, sending my half-cooked food to various homes whose food was already cooked and marking on my pad of paper times to have dishes taken out, driven over, switched, picked up. Talk about stress. Sure enough, I managed to finish as always with about 10 minutes to sweep up, wash the floor and jump in the shower.
That day was really a test. I knew it. My husband knew it. Did we pass? Barely – I probably could have handled the situation a lot better and instead of pointing fingers and laying blame, finding quicker solutions and not having to take the extra time to make apologies.
This story happened a while ago but because of something more recent, it brought back the memory. I started reading a message that had no good news, only the underlying message of acceptance. We can’t change the ultimate outcome if G-d has decreed it a certain way. We can try to improve the situation to our comfort level, we can beg for mercy, we can (call the gas guy and order a new tank on time) read; plan accordingly, but ultimately we have no control of knowing how long something will last. The amount of gas I use weekly is guesstimated, the trip from point A-B is anyone’s guess if there is an accident along the way, especially the amount of money my kids will ask from me any given week is a total shot in the dark. We all are forced to accept the things we cannot change, sometimes its as basic as having a spouse pick up their skivvies from the floor or throwing out a used tissue to something more intense, like having to say goodbye forever.
My advice is to love hard and forgive easily. The unknown is frightening, but sometimes knowing is even worse. Who are we in the great scheme of things to expect to live a long life (whatever that really means – here comes the deep stuff). Time is something we created – so make the most of it for it is fleeting. We never know when the bell will ring for the final KO so stand proud, make better decisions, duck when the punch is about to smack you square in the face, make lists and keep to them. Stare at the people you love and let them know how you feel. Create for yourself a family and share in the good that this life has to offer. Don’t wait until you realize that your gas has run out, literally.