Saturday, May 02, 2009


William and I were talking the other night about time. We never seem to have enough of it yet our parents and grandparents did way more work and always seem to have time left over. Time to sit on the front porch and visit with whoever stopped by. Time to really listen and talk with their kids and grandkids. Time to go fishing, go to church socials and picnics. Time to read to and tell stories to kids and grandkids. They had big gardens and used their own energy to hoe and weed. They cooked and canned on woodstoves even in the summer but always had time to bake a cake or pie for their kids and grandkids. They had time to teach little hands how to thread a needle and sew a quilt block. They had time to show a kid how to hold and throw a ball. They had time build a snowman and show their kids how to make a snow angel. With all the hard work they had each day they were never too tired or ran out of time to enjoy life, family and friends. Our parents and grandparents had it alot harder than we ever had yet they always had time for us. Where did time go? We don't have to till or work our land by hand, We don't have to carry water from the spring and heat for baths and washing. We don't have to stand over a hot woodstove in the middle of summer cooking and canning. Life is so much easier for us so what happened to time? Our lives are easier, work is easier, caring for home and family is easier now than way back then, so why don't we have more time? We have sat and enjoyed our patio area twice since we fixed it. Once was for a few minutes after we finished it and that was because it started to rain. The second time was the weekend we had friends visiting. We don't have time to sit and enjoy it. Each time we sit down we think of all that needs to be done and get back up. We don't sit on the backporch and watch the birds at the feeders or the sun come up. We don't get the canoes out on the water. We don't go fishing. When we spend time with kids or grandkids its while we are working and they are helping us. Yes, they are learning as they help us but I want them to remember time. I want them to remember our having time for them. I want to have time to sit on the porch and just listen and talk with them. I want to tell them stories about growing up and that there was always time to do things without rushing. That there was always time to get things done, work hard yet have time to enjoy life, family and friends. Where did time go? Has anyone seen it? How do I get time back? I sure do miss having time.


ChristyACB said...

That time is still waiting for you to notice it. There have been good studies done on this issue and it appears to affect everyone, at least in their minds, all over the post-industrial world.

Two things: Increased Life Complexity and Non-Local Families

Our lives may be, in the singular, easier. It is easier to say, wash dishes in the dishwasher. But you're doing it alone. And you're using 5x the implements (on average) in your kitchen to cook the same meal.

We don't have Grandma living with us, or the spinster aunt next door or 3+ generations living happily under one roof.

Many hands might light work, yes. But many hands and a simpler life may light and happy work.

I've lost my time too. I'm working on finding it simplification at a time.

Kristie said...

Kind of along the lines of what Christy said...

I think back then when every thing took so long to do and so much more effort; that our parents and grandparents allotted an entire day to plowing and planting the garden, or whatever the main chore may have been. If they got finished sooner, that was their "free" time. That was their day. Of course, back then they didn't have to be slaves to cell phones and other gadgets like we are now.

I remember hearing my parents talk about their plans for the next day. They would say something like how they needed to harvest the corn, get it cleaned, cooked up, and wrapped up for the deep freezer. Between doing that and making home cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the day was done.

Nowadays we have have microwaves, cell phones, washers, dryers, super fast internet, fast food, fast cars. We don't have to WAIT for anything.
And while all our new gadgets can do everything fast, they are still thieves of time when you incorporate too many of them into a single day. KWIM?

Also, because of the fast paced world that we live in more is expected of us. We are expected to get more accomplished between sun up and sun down. If you lag behind for a single day you get a double dose of "hurry and do it" for the next day. It's really sad that it has gotten to be this way.

I hope some of that made sense.

Gail said...

Another thing I think we do is expect to much of ourselves in one day. We need to decide what is going to matter in eternity. Do all the stalls really have to be mucked today? Yes, feeding and watering need to be done, but the rest can be stretched out to allow for some free time. Once rested, the rest will fall into order, but done forget the rest each day.

The Raggedy Girl said...

A wonderful post and I think we are all asking ourselves this question. I asked my hubby to set up the deck and patio knowing full well that last year I was out there one time, what is with that!!

The Raggedy Girl

Connie said...

Wow Peggy - you open up a good thread. LOL

I am 67 years old and I don't know where the time has gone. I remember turning 40 and 50 but than all of sudden I am almost 68. It seems like I put the Christmas decorations up and it is time to get them out again. LOL

What the other ladies said is so true about our parents and grandparents.

I always wanted a playhouse when I was a kid (not fancy one,a small shed would do) and finally two years ago, my DH bought me a 10x16 shed and created me my own playhouse. I looked forward to spending hours out there, sewing, reading, etc. By the time I got everything done inside and with all the other chores to do, I have sat it in once. That is sad. Thats what time does - it just keeps on moving.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Amy said...

I keep saying if I could get rid of the distractions in my life, I would have more time. TV on all the time....phones ringing....time wasters. Meh.

Christy said...

They also didn't work full time outside of the home like so many of us do today. But I think having more family around was the key. If I had just one more adult living here helping we'd get so much more done and have more free time. Mostly it is just me doing things with hubby helping on weekends.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the faster pace. And the many extra things we have now that take up our time - like this thing I am typing on right now. I think our modern day computer, phone, and TV time was our grandparents visiting time. As for finding some more time, that sure isn't happening around here.

Lib said...

Hi Peggy,
A Great post! We wondered the same and started thinking what was most important to us , and done some downsizing as well as ddecluttering and that helped a great deal!There are things I miss from the past.
My Parents lived with us 11 yrs. what a great Joy! Ans wonderful memories!
I was taught work 1st then play . I still can't do a few things ,craft ,few more chores. I have to do work then play.
Thinking of ya'll and praying things are better soon!
Have a great wk. Friend!
Blessins',and Prayers!,Lib

Rosa said...

tehe I had the sound on and the cats are up and looking for those birds! lol
My father used to say, "wait until you get old, then you will truly see how time flies!" I know what he's talking about now. I too have to sit myself down and tell myself to slow it down a bit. There is always tomorrow, let's hope. xoxo

Baba's Blog .. Babies Are Special said...

Good evening Peggy, I have enjoyed your post today... it is true that time can not be held back, so we move in a hurry and miss the important things in our lives!!

I want to redo our deck off of my bedroom and enjoy sitting outside and getting back to nature, by hearing the birds and watching the squirrels play in the oak trees...

I stay on the computer too much and miss out on the simple things in life..I plan on buying some plants and making the deck a prettier place to sit and relax..

Have a great week... hugs, Baba

Mary said...


I think our priorities have changed since the time when families sat on the front porch and visited. Today we want our houses spotless, our laundry completely caught up at all times and so much more. We expect way too much of ourselves and others.

Grandma would set aside what she was doing to wipe a tear with her apron or to mend a doll's torn dress. Her house was clean, but not spotless. After all, it was a farm. There were many people living under one roof and each had their own chores that they were responsible for.

Grandma used to say, "The dirt and chores will be here long after I'm dead," and she was right. When I pass from this world, I may be known for a cluttered house, but my grandsons will remember all the time I had to spend with them doing things that we enjoyed. That will be my legacy.

Have a great week, my friend and please take time to stop, smell the roses and sit on that lovely patio.


grammy said...

Very good post and i am sure all of us have the same question. I know time is so different for me the older i fast! From what I have observed, it slows again when we are in the nursing home.
I know when we go away to the mountains to camp things slow way down. No schedule. No TV and computer. We play cards, read, walk, sit by the campfire....then have a nice restful night.

Heidi said...

I have learned the last few years that its not so much about having the time - its about taking the time. When you take time, it makes more of a memory than having the time to do it at your leasure. People lived years ago with the knowledge and understanding that - you cant get it all done AND time with your family is more important than anything other than the Lord. I try to look at it this way - When I get to Heaven and have to account for my time spent here, is the Lord going to say - nice yard Heidi, but your son wanted to read a new book to you.... see what I mean. WE put expectations on ourselves based on what the world expects - or Martha Stewart for that matter -
Time is currency, therefore it needs to be spent - would you spend money on being able to clean a goat pen or to be with your family....
HUGS - we are all going through this and I think its just a sign that we need to back up and let the Lord run our lives, He's more capable anyway right? LOL
(hope I dont sound preachy)

Kelle said...

I love all the comment thus far and would like to add a few of my own, for what it's worth.

Time has been stolen by technology, the very entity that was supposed to free us up and make our lives easier. As one above mentioned, getting rid of TV, phones(cell and landline), Ipods, blackberries,video games, microwaves, etc.... What it required back then was planning, planning and prep for meals( canning, dehydrating and smoking foods, vs. frozen.

We ourselves are just beginning to see a bit of free time, even though we do live a agrarian lifestyle. Our time stealer my Dh's outside job. When our place is paid off( hopefully this year!) this won't be an issue, he instead will be able to work from home and therefore be here to get things done in the time allowed, not during the time( evenings and weekends) that should be spent with our children, as a family or with friends.

My Grandmother is 94 yrs old, still basically living on her own and yes she and my Grandad worked hard all their lives, raising a family of 9 kids and even foster children from time to time. She always had time to take a hour long nap during the day and after supper and dishes she had time to sew or read a book. We,people today, seem to run by the seat of our pants and want everything NOW! If you forgot to thaw the meat, simply throw it in the microwave or better yet just eat out. I'm betting more often than not, most don't even partially cook their own meals, it's all prepackaged and ready to heat via microwave.

We now choose to have the time to spend with our family, relatives and friends. life can become very overwhelming if we don't make time to enjoy a bit of it.

Great blog essay!

wildbilltanker said...

After reading all the wonderful,insightful and well thought out comments,including my lovely and wise wife's.I like to offer one perspective that I experienced before I retired from the good old ARMY.About 30 years ago as we were starting to integrate the new highly efficient computer into our military lives everyone said that paper would become non use and non existent.At that time I had a desk job(1st Sgt.),with a small stack of paper in my inbox each day(about 10 sheets or so)after a year or so with this new technology,my inbox had so much in it(over 100 pages)that I couldn't possibly read it all.It seems that now everyone that had a opinion would write it down on screen,hit print and send everyone a copy.I have now joined that group!!! happy reading-ha-ha

Patrice Farmer said...

It seems like time is speeding up. I hope you will get the time to spend with them.

JoyceAnn said...

I've often wondered that same thought. I'm slowly learning to do what I can and not worry about what doesn't get done , there's always tomorrow.

~ Blessings ~

senior said...

A Very good way to describe the way I feel. We just need to change our lifestyle, don't expect everything. Live a more back to basics lifestyle and see family and friends as the most important thing to have.