Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Passing Time or Filling Time?

The difference between passing time and filling minutes has been something I have come to grips with this year.

I've truly found that Fatherhood has taught me to fill each minute with memories and reasons to smile, rather than to wile away the time waiting for the sparsely distributed events of the year.

My Mother never used to ask me, "What did you learn at school today?" when I was a child. Instead she would ask, "What made you smile today?" And if I answered, "Nothing," or "I don't know" then she would tell me, "Adam, then you've wasted your minutes."

I've picked up that habit of asking my little boy questions like that. He looks at me with the same blank stare I am sure that I looked at my Mother with when I was his age.

Another habit I have picked up is the "ego box." My Mother used to take all the nice things people said about myself and my sister and write them on individual pieces of paper. We had a box each in which she would put these bits of paper. It could be snippets from school reports or something that a family friend had said. And on bad days or days (like we all have) where we had a downer on ourselves or were not feeling so sure of ourselves, she used to hand us the boxes and tell us "take a compliment." We'd then read them out loud. She had me do that until I was 19 or so.... I never understood the value of it until I was in my teens.

I do the same with my son now. Sometimes we all need reminding of the nicer things people think about us....

But I digress. I suppose 2010 has been entirely transitional for me in many ways. I have, though, thanks to my beautiful little boy and my stunning fiancee, learnt how to stop passing time and to start filling it instead.

Life's a gift :)

1 comment:

Sunflower said...

That "ego box" was a very cool thing your mom did. My parents were much quicker to criticise than praise and until now I still occasionally struggle with the secret fear that I'm a failure -- despite all the evidence to the contrary. I almost envy you this aspect of your childhood.