How do you measure the passage of time?

life advice self reflection time Dec 06, 2022

So often when we’re young we hear our elders use cliches and we roll our eyes at them, because we don’t really care or understand the meaning of these odd phrases.


We think to ourselves “oh here they go again, giving me old person advice”. Well, maybe you don’t or didn’t think that, but I sure did.


And then one day you wake up and you’re the one uttering those odd phrases. It most likely took years, but now you not only understand but agree with the messages they were trying to convey to you many years earlier. In the past decade, my parents' words seem to haunt me and I find myself repeating them silently to myself. I try to refrain from saying it out loud to my kids because they already roll their eyes at me enough as it is!


One of the top hits on repeat in my mind is: “The older we get, the faster time seems to go”.


I’m not sure when I started the practice of reflecting back on the year that was coming to an end, but I tend to take stock of my progress twice a year. Typically, on January 1st and  on my birthday. Lately, I’ve been noticing how quickly each of these milestones seem to repeat themselves. As I’m writing this, 2023 is less than a month away. It seems like 2022 just began!


Something else recently dawned on me. I've also developed a weekly reflection practice.  At the end of a each week I  pause and reflect on the week that has just ended. Maybe for you, Sunday would be the day to reflect on your week, but not for me.


My weekly reflection is done each time I fill my pill case. Ok, how old am I that I even have a pill case? UGH! Just to be clear, my pills are mostly supplements, not prescriptions (although there are a few of those as well). Saturday is the day that all the daily slots are empty and when Saturday rolls around again, it feels like I just filled that case a minute ago. How is this possible?


The task of taking out all the pills and filling the days of the week in assembly line style is drudgery so I use this time to reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly of the past week.


As I look back, I recall that there were a couple of days that were brutal but now I can’t even remember the specific situations.


You might consider this a bad thing, because I’m forgetful, but to me it’s a reminder that nothing lasts forever. Just a few days earlier, I was had been sobbing uncontrollably and feeling very low. I remember the general reason why, but I can’t recall the exact details that led up to that moment.


At the time, you feel like things will never improve but here it is a few days later and that breakdown already seems like ages ago. Understanding this phenomenon can be helpful in those moments of despair and sadness. Remind yourself that days from now this will be but a distant memory.


Using reflection on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis can be a powerful tool if used properly.


This is not a time to beat yourself up over what you did or did not do. It’s a time to pause and look back  through a lens of honesty, learning from your past experiences. It allows you to move forward in a more targeted and intentional way. 


There is no one size fits all approach. You need to experiment with different time frames and triggers and see what works best for you. I use a journal for daily and monthly reflection, my pill case for weekly reflection and those two days a year for my annual reflection.


Remember, just like your mother said:  “to each his own”, “take the tiger by the tail” “think outside the box” and “time flies when you’re having fun”!

Until next time,


Morning Sprinkles of Goodness: Journal Prompts to create more Joy & Happiness in your life!

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