Tag Archives: new years wish

I wish You Time

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops time ticking away by collecting a lifetime of photos of her daughter who died.For the New Year I wish you time. Precious, beautiful, amazing time. This is my wish for all my online and offline friends, and family, and especially for my beautiful smart friend who is now running out of time.

Time is not something you can really gift another person, no matter how much you love her. You can spend time with someone and help them, comfort them, and perhaps get them to stop thinking about time for a while. We can wish them time. But I haven’t figured out a way to actually give it away, to extend someone’s time here on earth.

Long ago, my colleagues at work gave me their unused sick-days so I could have time with my daughter who was in a hospital hours away from work or home. That was the best gift ever. If only there could be some sort of global pooling of unused or unneeded time, where people could drop off or sign away a day or even an hour of time from their own lives, to donate to one who is too young to die, or too loved to let go of. Like blood banks, we could have collection centers for people to leave off small portions of their time.

Time is something few people have in excess, and you can’t even buy time. For yourself, anyway. When my house was under construction, I told the woman who cleans, “Don’t come in next week. Here’s the money. Please do something nice for yourself that morning instead.” It was the closest I could come to giving away time.

Weekly, I spend an afternoon with my friend who is dying, listening to her stories and sharing my own. I worry about taking up too much of her remaining time. But she assures me our time together is a gift.

So I’m wishing you all time. Time to spend with the ones you love, and to do the things you’ve been wanting to do but had no time for. Time to see your children grown and settled. Time to see your face age like your parents’ faces aged. Time when you stop counting the ever-increasing years gone by from when loved ones died, and you instead begin to hear their voices calling you closer. I wish you time to know you’ve had enough time.

Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s hoping you have many more coming.

 

What do you wish for, for 2019?

 

 

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Another New Years Wish

Robin Botie of ithaca, New York, photographs statue of Queen Victoria in Sydney, Australia.For my trip to Australia, I joined a tour group so I wouldn’t have to do all the thinking and organizing. But they planned everything so well, I lost track of some of the things I meant to do on my own. Like eat dumplings in Melbourne. And find the exact spot in the Yarra River where I’d tossed my daughter’s ashes five years ago. On my last night in Australia, in Sydney, by the time I finished with the scheduled dinner I was tired, so I let my last opportunity to do something from my personal list slip by. And in the middle of the night I woke up miserable about it. So, early in the morning, I crept out of the hotel and walked several city blocks to the Queen Victoria Building Plaza, to drop coins in the dog wishing well.

It was the wishing well my daughter wrote about. The bronze terrier perched above it represented the beloved pet of Queen Victoria. It used to talk. A recorded message thanked people for the coins that would be donated to the deaf and blind children of New South Wales. Now the message was gone and there was more garbage inside than money. But I felt good about accomplishing my mission anyway.

Turning back towards the hotel, I noticed the statue of Queen Victoria just yards away from the wishing well. I didn’t remember it from my last trip. But now the monument of Victoria was grabbing my attention like it had some urgent message for me. For the moment, I delayed the mad dash back to catch breakfast and the van to the airport.

All I knew about Queen Victoria was from the recent movie Victoria and Abdul. After years of cloistering herself away and wallowing in grief over the death of her husband, Victoria befriended a young Indian clerk who changed her way of viewing the world. She suddenly found inspiration to carry on with her life and responsibilities, and strength to reclaim her power to rule.

For this New Year, in a world where so much is out of our control, I’m wishing you, my readers, my friends, the inspiration and strength to take control of what you can in your lives. Life is not simply a series of events that you watch happen. I wish you the power to turn a bad situation around. To find meaning, or make meaning, when everything around you feels senseless. To fill emptiness with hope. To patch your brokenness. To reclaim your opportunities. And be the ruler of your life.

 

Where will you look for inspiration in the New Year? What gave you strength in 2017?

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