The Generosity of Time

I grew up fast.  No, I did not say I was fast – I said I grew up fast.  There was a time; however, when I was about 16 that my mother worried that I might be a little too fast.  But I digress.

I grew up fast because I was the baby of three children and wanted to do and copy everything my older brothers did.  I grew up fast because my father died when I was eleven and I felt I had to be a grown up.  I needed to be a grown up for my mother.  And it felt good to be a grown up…people always commented to my mother what a blessing I was and how “mature” I was for my age….I liked those comments and I needed them.  Because I grew up fast, I fell in love fast,  married at 19 and by age 24, found myself living in a 3 bedroom home with two mortgages, two dogs, working full time and trying desperately to meet our overhead expenses.  It was then that I realized I did not want to grow up fast anymore.  I did not want to be a grown up.  I wanted to be the child I never was.  I wanted to be the teenager I never was.  I did not want to worry about mortgages, working and caring for a small oxygen business, working to maintain the yard, and the house.  I felt I had worked my whole young life—I wanted to have some fun!   I did not know exactly what I wanted but I thought I was unhappy with who I was, where I was and what I had.  I was a very unhappy person and was seeking to find happiness in all the wrong places.  I almost left a loving and patient husband because of what I thought I wanted.  It wasn’t until I became pregnant and miscarried, not once by twice, and then struggled to become pregnant again and nearly lost a third baby that I finally realize what was important to me.   With each pregnancy, with each “threatened abortion” with each life lost, I began to realize what the priorities in my life were.

What is your priority in life?

Webster’s dictionary defines priority as superiority in rank, position, or privilege.  It is also a preferential rating, or something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives.

Simply put, a priority is something (a value, goal, relationship, cause, etc) of leading importance in your life. 

  • A priority is what you live for, what gives focus to your life.
  • A priority is the shaping value around which the rest of your life tends to be ordered, for better or for worse.  (How about those kids you love, who drive you crazy sometimes-especially if they are teenagers).
  • A priority is whatever has first claim on your time, energy, and resources.
  • A priority is something you consistently prefer to do (or feel you must do) have, work toward, think about, or spend money on, above other possibilities.
  • A priority is either consciously chosen or set for us by outside circumstances.

Even if you have many priorities, one priority usually takes precedence over the others.

A priority consists of a dynamic interaction among values, beliefs, ideals, and commitment.

We must keep in mind that priorities shift and change over the course of our lives depending on our circumstances.

Throughout the seasons of our lives, our priorities are something we choose and or are chosen for us.  While we may not have control of these things, we can view then as opportunities for growth, for time spent with those we love, and for the value, enrichment, and achievement they have in our life.   And many lessons learned.

In the early years our priorities were getting financially stable, raising our daughter, caring for our home.  Later, I spent a plethora of years as a caregiver for my mother mostly but also in helping my mother in law, aunt and uncle when needed.  Today, Thad and I are caregivers for each other and we often joke that we must never be injured or sick at the same time because – well, we’d be in a fine mess wouldn’t we?  We’d have to call in the national guards, i.e. our daughter and we don’t want her to get into the caregiving business any sooner than she has to.  So one of our priorities is to take good care of ourselves, do routine physician visits and tests to make sure we can live our best life possible and independently as long as possible.

Another priority these days is our faith because in keeping plugged into the word, into looking to God for guidance, it helps us navigate the rough waters of this life – not to mention the myriad of medical mayhem.  It has led us to wanting to give back whether it is helping others navigate medical mayhem, or working with the St Luke’s Lutheran Church and School’s K-9 Comfort DogMinistry which allows me to visit residents in nursing homes.  These moments of time, while may be generous on my part provide an unsurpassed gift to both the receiver but to me as the giver.

Another priority today is our daughter, her husband and our grandchildren.  Watching them raise a whole new generation in a whole different world is amazing. Watching our grandchildren grow up, as Thad and I age, I realize that my priority in this time of life is making memories with them for us now and for them later.  So as long as we can be the running, jumping Opa and Nana –  we want to be a presence (present) in their lives.

Looking back to my young days, I realize the gift of time itself helped me mature and consider what truly my priorities were.  Even the difficult times were there to STOP!, get my attention, and give me time to (scream, cry out, squirm) and define what truly was important at that time.

Simone Weil was a French philosopher who reminds us that when we give our attention to something or someone, we are giving one of the most precious parts of ourselves.

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” – Simone Weil

Even in those difficult seasons of our lives it is my wish that I, and you my dear reader, give generously to the person or people in your life that make you sing, make your heart swell, and make lots of wrinkles where smile have been. And may you do the same for them. J

What is your priority? What do you think about?  How do you spend your money?  How do you spend your time?  Are you living your most generous life with the gift of attention?


Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at

Blessings for Health & Wellness.


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