Time

Time is another aspect of “Now.”

When I was young, time seemed unbearably stretched out, endless. “Are we there yet?” was my constant question. It seemed that I always wanted the future to be my present.

As I got older, time sped up. Now, at age 58, nearly 59, time is a bullet train. Yesterday, I was 19 and in college, with my whole life ahead of me. I blinked and suddenly, I was 35 and my son was born. Blinked again, and he was in high school. Blinked a third time, and it’s today. He is a man of 23 and I am disabled. I’m afraid to blink again.

Time, like money, is finite. Time, like money, has no favorites, doesn’t expand to suit our needs. But both time and money change based on our perceptions.

As a child, time seemed to drag interminably. Now, it seems to evaporate instantly. Which is the truth?

When I was in disease, there was never enough money. When I am spiritually fit and in recovery, there is sufficient money to meet my needs, even though I have less than before. Which is the truth?

When I live in now, without expectation, there is plenty of time. When I savor each moment, instead of waiting for the next in anticipation of something better, I have sufficient time to meet my needs.

In one sense, both time and money are merciless. Today I am deeply conscious that there will come a day, a breath, that is my last, and it often feels like that moment is racing toward me. Knowing this, I can either sink into depression and despair or be as present as possible in each and every moment that is given to me.

In disease, I lived unconsciously about time and money. I borrowed money pretending it was mine, and never understood that I couldn’t borrow time, believing that I could.

Every time I was in horrible pain after acting out in my addictions, I reached out to God, swearing that I would change tomorrow if He would only bail me out today. I don’t remember huge pieces of my life because I always lived in the future and often lived in the fog of active addiction.

The past is akin to a dream. It is no longer real. When I hold on to resentment about an event in the past, I am holding onto nothing, nothing at all. Yes, our past creates our future, each action leading to the next. But the reality of that past event is no more solid than the nightmare I experienced last night, which caused me to wake feeling frightened.

Today, I know there is no time or money to waste. In recovery, I do my best to make good decisions about how I spend both my money and time. I know that these choices affect the quality of my life now and in the future. In recovery, I can trust that I have enough money and time. I can trust that my life is unfolding as it should and even though it is finite, I don’t have to be afraid. I can deeply enjoy the moments I do have by living a recovery life, and when I do that effectively, staying in today, staying in the now, money seems to increase and time to slow down … just a little.

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