From Time to Time

Wendy - Springfield, Missouri
Entered on July 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that time shapes our lives. From the minute we wake up in the morning till the second we go to bed in the evening our lives our timed. At seven-thirty we have breakfast and head for the school bus, at eight school starts and then when at school our classes are timed, then we go home and have sports and schedules, all timed and all distractions. We live on timed schedules to keep us busy trying to forget our problems, our worries, our imperfections. Time surrounds us and we live by it for it to make it through this crazy world.

Time of death eleven-thirty-three p.m. Time, the time when a loved one leaves your life, the time when your life is changed and the plans you had are shaken and they go out the door, replaced by sorrow and grief, worry and panic. How are you going to get the funeral ready? How are you going to notify the family? How are you going to face life itself? When I was in first grade my grandpa tragically left us on a cold December night. He went into his room coughing and complaining of being tired and never came back out alive. December twenty-second just a few days before Christmas, the time of year when time is filled and plans for the upcoming holiday overtake our schedules. Our lives were stopped as we had to redirect our focus to our family, a funeral, and still manage to have some sort of a Christmas, despite the very important person that was missing. I look back and I have so many regrets, I let time get in the way of getting to know my grandpa. I was busy with gymnastics, soccer, dance and being a little kid who didn’t take time to sit down and have cookies and milk with her grandpa, to get to know him. All I have now are the few memories I made and the ones that others told me. I remember how terrified I used to be of him he had tattoos on his arm from his years spent in the Navy, he smoked all the time, and when he coughed it sounded so terrible I would jump at the sound of it. However I also remember what a proud man he was and how much despite his gruff appearance he really did love his family. Time…it got in the way of my childhood I don’t regret anything I did I just regret not taking some time to sit down and talk to my grandpa for now that I think about it I am sure he had great stories and wisdom to share.

It is seven years later and I am now realizing how I am letting time get in the way of other relationships. I have a cousin who is currently serving in Kuwait and in correspondence of e-mail he shows no complaint. He has said that he is enjoying his time overseas despite the three children all five years of age and under that he left behind. At twenty-seven years old he has more convictions and views on life than some ninety-two year olds. Fighting overseas has led him to a strong conviction that, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and beliefs though you may not agree with it.” Here he is thousands of miles away from his family, working fourteen-eighteen hour days in order to make things better for the troops over there and us here at home. The time he serves is his time and ten hours different from the time his family is in, he makes a difference. The time he puts forth on his schedule determines the time of others lives. So, time surrounds us, we live on time tables, our lives our timed from the moment we take our first breath to the moment we draw our last.

I believe that time surrounds us and that if we stepped back and took a breath once in a great while maybe we would get a little more out of life. But we don’t, we push ourselves, fill our schedules and keep on going despite the bumps along the road. We are all so busy that we forget how fragile life is, how one moment can be gone in the blink of an eye. Time surrounds us and the months that my cousin spends overseas are months when his family and him are on time tables whether it is counting down to the next phone call, or till he is back in their arms again. Our lives are timed, time surrounds us, time passes us by, we miss out, we make mistakes, and at the end of the day when we lay down to rest up for our upcoming schedule we only ever realize what we forgot to do. Time overwhelms us we lose track of days, weeks, and months and before we know it another year has gone by and we lost our chance to actually enjoy our lives. I believe that time is precious and if we slowed down maybe when someone passes on we won’t have regrets and when we are far away from a family member we have countless memories to think about awaiting their return. This I believe that time surrounds us but doesn’t have to control us.