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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Time Is Now

"The time is now and we are it."

I read this quote, attributed to a Hopi elder, in a newsletter I received recently. Regardless of the source, I love the sentiment. 

The time is now, and we are it. That realization has become even more clear the older I become. Time waits for no one. We can't save it to use another day. Once it is gone, it cannot be retrieved. The time to act is now. The time to get involved is now. The time to start making our dreams a reality is now.
We are days into a new year, a traditional time for making resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with our families. Unfortunately, most people fail to keep their resolutions for more than a few weeks. Old habits are hard to break. So here's something a bit easier -- don't break an old habit, start a new one. Add something positive to your life.

Don't say "I won't be a couch potato this year." Instead, plan some sort of exercise as part of every day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a walk during your lunch break. Park at the far side of the parking lot and walk to the door, rather than waiting for a spot near the door.

Take those first steps toward making your dreams a reality. Maybe you can't move to Italy as you would like to do. How about learning to speak Italian as a first step? See if a local community college or adult education center offers a class. Do you dream of running a marathon but you haven't exercised in 10 years? That's OK. Start by going for a 10-minute walk every day. Gradually increase the amount of time you walk. Once you're comfortable with walking for a while, add a short jog. Then gradually increase time and distance.

Get involved. Volunteer. Sign up for a walk-a-thon. Foster a homeless dog or cat. Teach somebody to read. Think about what interests you, then find an organization that needs your help, whether it's an environmental group, a senior center or a local school.

The time is now. The older I get, the faster life seems to pass. The days that seemed to linger forever now fly by. You never know when something will happen that could change your life forever. The change could be negative -- an accident or illness, or it could be positive. You will never know what will happen when you take that first step until you take it. You may find the love of your life, a new career or a new passion. Or maybe you will be the one to make a difference in the life of another being, whether human or non-human.

I love photography, but I want to get better, so I am looking for a local photography class. I am going to Russia this summer with my Russian-born daughter, so I am brushing up on my rusty Russian language skills. My daughter is talking about getting her own apartment in a few months, so I am stepping up my efforts to get involved with a local senior center so I won't be lonely when she does move out. 

The time to do these things is now. Take those first steps; don't waste the precious time you have been given.