As a teenager and young adult, I used to look forward to Daylight Saving Time every year. It meant that I would get an extra hour to sleep in. It still feels good to wake up before my alarm and not feel so rushed. This morning, I took advantage of extra snuggles with my kids, a slow cup of coffee, and some reading before heading to church. This extra hour changed my thinking about time today. Instead of time feeling like a constraint, it felt more like a gift. Then I started thinking about what I would do if I had an extra hour every day.
Of course, I could think of so many things that I would do with an extra hour. At home, I would probably spend more time with my kids, or be more on top of laundry and the daily cleaning chores. If I had an extra hour with students, I would dig deeper into exploring their questions and passions. An extra hour with colleagues would mean more intentional planning and co-creating integrated learning experiences. I’ve been thinking about conversations I’ve had with educators and friends regarding time. I’ve listened to people share fabulous ideas of things they would like to start or try- and when we talk about what is stopping them, the absence of time is almost always part of the picture. As I think about my own goals and “to do” list, I am reminded that time is fixed. I will never have the ability to add time to the day, but what I can control is how I spend my time.
This is our reality. How we respond is our choice. We can choose to continue to wish for more time, additional monetary resources, or we can choose to make a plan and start. We have the ability to make changes despite these constraints. When push comes to shove, we make time for the things that we care about the most. Setting goals and planning ahead helps us make the most of our time. Unfortunately, in the absence of clear focus and intention, an extra hour every day would probably turn into spending time the same way that we are used to spending it. And eventually that extra hour would probably no longer feel like a gift. It’s on all of us to be effective stewards of our time and talents. We have the freedom to chose how we spend each day- and that, is most certainly, a gift!