I was supporting a father the other week, and after an intense, surprising and creative session with some out-of-the-box prescriptions for change, he paused and in a slow voice he said, “I just need to find the time for this.”
I immediately asked: “Where will you look?” He paused a long time before conceding that he didn’t know where to find that additional morsel of time that would make all the difference to his family life.
We all labour under the curious burden of not having enough time. It’s the one thing in our lives that seems to get heavier the less of it we seem to have. It might be better that we do away with it all together. We could collapse the future, the past and the present into the now.
Sounds unrealistic, naive, weird? Then take a moment and look to your child for some magic.
Our children are constantly asking us to come to them–be with them–to settle into the now. In so many creative ways they appeal to us to slow down, to play, to discover, to wonder at the mystery of it all. Our children seem to have all the time in the world. It seems they know where to find it.
You too can turn the tide on time, and snuggle up to a new narrative. Here’s one radical way: Make yourself a fine clock out of cardboard, with paper hands to set the hours and minutes. Place it prominently in your kitchen or hallway.
The next time your child asks you to do something together, and you hear yourself say that you don’t have the time, create some magic. Turn the minute hand back 10 minutes, no more.
And then this: during those ten minutes, see and do everything as if it’s the first time. Even better, do something for the first time ever. It doesn’t matter how odd it might seem. Never worn a potted plant on your head? This is the time to try it. Ever danced naked with your child to loud music? Now is the time.
When we seek out newness, our world slows down.
Do this, or something else that’s radically new for you, and you’ll suddenly find some of the time you thought was lost forever.