Once a year, I feel a twinge of loss as I set the clocks ahead one hour. Spring is near, we are enjoying longer days in North Dakota, and it's time to spring ahead to Daylight Savings Time. So why the twinge?
Intuitively, I know it's silly. I haven't really lost an hour. Clocks are just another way to measure time, like calendars. These measurements serve a vital purpose without which the world would dissolve into chaos. Measurements of time allow us to coordinate our lives with others.
While it would be impossible to "do" life without these measurements of time, the ticking of the clock does evoke an endless array of emotions. Too often we fret that we "don't have enough time" to do all the things we want (or think we have) to do. We're constantly "running late," or "counting down the days," or even worrying about the ticking of our "biological clocks." It's enough to drive us crazy with anxiety and a sense of scarcity.
I've decided to do my best to flip this notion of time scarcity on its head. Now when I turn the clocks ahead by one hour, I'll let it serve as a reminder to appreciate the hours, days and years I've already experienced and those yet to come. No more moaning about another birthday. Instead, I'll strive to appreciate the opportunity to celebrate another trip around the sun and for the experiences gained during the rotation.
I've always been intrigued by little remnants of history. I love old trinkets left over from special times in other people's lives. They spark my imagination.
There is a small alcove in our house where I display my collection of vintage purses. I can't explain why, but these little beauties give me joy. There is absolutely nothing practical about them. Maybe that's what makes them special to me. A life filled with nothing but the practical would be painfully bleak and colorless.
I like to imagine the type of women that actually used these purses, decades ago. What kinds of parties did these purses travel to and what was a woman wearing when she looped one of these over her wrist? Perhaps one of these pretty little bags was part of a young woman's wedding trousseau. Maybe another was a gift from a soldier to his sweetheart when he returned from war.
Who designed these miniature works of art? The intricate metal scrollwork on some of the purses is breathtaking. Some are covered in row upon row of beading, likely done by hand. How were these created, so many years ago?
I'm purposefully including a picture here that displays a bit of damage on one of my favorites. I could have passed up the purse because it wasn't perfect. Or I could have turned it to the other side when I took this picture so you couldn't see the flaw. But I choose not to pretend they're perfect because I think we all might be just a little tired of the illusion of perfectionism. I know I am.
A few missing rhinestones or a loose thread and missing beads likely mean the purse was well used, enjoyed by someone on special occasions. They are still gorgeous creations, made all the more special because of their history.
,Nestled among my purses are two small angels. My grandmother gave these to me many years ago. Grandma used to put them on her Christmas tree. When I first got a place of my own, she thought I'd enjoy having these to start my own collection of ornaments. She gave me a set of four. I used them on our trees for years. Somewhere along the line, the blue and the green angels disappeared. I didn't want to chance losing the remaining two, so now instead of being tucked away for eleven months of the year with all my other ornaments, I keep them out where I can enjoy them, and they won't accidentally be lost among the tree branches.
Similar to my purses, these pretty little angels give me joy. I need only to look at them to remember many of the special times I enjoyed with my grandma as I was growing up. Just like so many of the women in my life, she shared priceless wisdom and love with me.
Experience is teaching me that hours are nothing more than markers as we travel through this life. We should seek out and partake in those experiences that bring us bliss and make the hours disappear. The hours aren't truly lost.
Maybe some of the small trinkets that accompany us on our own adventures will bring joy to someone in a future generation, too, long after we're gone.
Each of us will start to show some wear and tear as the years click by, just like my pretty little purses, but we need to stop thinking of the wrinkles and imperfections as problems and instead wear them as a badge of honor. What a blessing to sport laugh lines and wrinkles around the eyes when they are a testament to life, love, heartbreak, survival, and laughter.
Make the most of every hour and fill your life with experiences that will deepen your laugh lines. Kim
What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word "persistence"?
I would guess the word itself does little to get your blood pumping. It implies hard work and patience. It reminds us that all those things we would love to achieve in our own lifetime won't happen through sheer luck. Darn.
Practicing persistence and tenacity can be a grind.
The word persistence is defined as "firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition."
So why do I even bring up the topic of persistence if it makes you cringe when you read the first few lines of today's post?
Because life has taught me the beauty of what can be achieved through persistence.
If I just showed up here, every week, and tried to encourage and inspire you to work towards whatever it is you want to accomplish, but never reminded you that it'll take a boatload of hard work to pull it off, I'd only be sharing half the story. Starting something is easy. Believe me, I've done my fair share of that. The real test comes when the excitement wears off, the finish line is far off in the distance, and there are plenty of roadblocks in-between.
We increase our odds of success if we go into something with our eyes wide open and try to prepare for the tough days. Give yourself the tools that can help you press on even when you don't feel like it.
Ways to make it easier to persist:
Remember, it's what you do behind the scenes when no one else is watching that will determine whether or not you accomplish whatever you set out to do. Put your head down, do what needs to be done, make it fun when you can, power through the mundane things, and then come up for air. See if you've made progress, adjust as needed, put your head back down, and do it again.
One year ago, I enjoyed an evening with a local book club. Even though it was a small group, three of us in the room were local, published authors. We compared notes and found we'd all gotten to that point following different paths, but we were all able to hold a physical book we'd each written in our hands. What I find so encouraging is that one year later, each of us has published another book. That takes persistence!
Congratulations to Laetitia Mizero Hellerud on her new book "Turning Points: True Stories of Thriving Through Adversity" and to Jeff Kolpack for publishing "North Dakota Tough." Their work is indeed full of inspiring stories.
I write novels and a weekly blog in addition to working a full-time job because I enjoy it.
No…wait…that isn't quite right. I do it because I love both the writing and the business end of publishing books. I put in early mornings and late nights, writing in the nooks and crannies of my days because I have a vision of where I want to go with my newfound passion. It won't happen overnight, and it won't be easy. But it'll be worth it.
What is it you want to do or become, in the months and years ahead? I hope you realize you have the power to make it happen if you commit and persist. It may take a long time, but the time will pass anyhow, so make it count.
Cheering on your tenacity! Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!