I spent some…well… time on a drive home from work recently giving thought as to why society has adorned Nature as female and Time as male. This is what happens when I don’t turn on the radio.
“Mother Nature” seems simple enough. Mother Earth, the giver of life, the tender side of our existence all play into the typical female role.
But why is it Father Time?
A quick Google search (when I got home) showed that the scythe and hourglass images associated with Father Time coincide with the Grim Reaper and Chronos – the Greek God of Time. Ok, mythology, I get it.
But that initial thought led to me spending even more time on the topic.
So for this Father’s Day, here are a few thoughts on time and why what you do with it should shoot up on your list of priorities.
We get less of it. Statistically speaking women will outlive men by almost five years – not only in America but throughout the entire planet. (This is yet another important reason to be present and to raise our daughters well – they’ll be on the Earth longer, even longer than the man they’ll call husband). From a divorced Dad’s perspective, there is very little that is more valuable than time with my girl.
We are expected to do something with it. Although the stereotype is blurring men are still expected to “leave their mark” on the world through accomplishment, construction, or legacy.
The term “mid-life crisis” rarely gets associated with women. Men are typically the ones viewed as trying to relive their youth. Some take a temporary leave of sanity to purchase a small sports car or chase younger women once their own mortality comes into view.
I’ve always regretted the fact that I spent a good portion of my life not realizing the true value of time. Maybe becoming a father is the only way some men will ever understand it.
Time is fluid. It flies. It drags.
Time is a luxury item. Free time. Nap time. Play time.
Time is a punishment. Jail time. Hard time. Time Out (for the toddlers)
Time is a burden. Deadlines. Appointments.
Time is finite. Thank God.
What? You might think a man who only gets 50% of his daughter’s time in his life would be crying for another hundred years of life.
And while I wouldn’t say no, I realize the impossibility of that happening. But there’s more to it than that.
It might best be illustrated in a short book by author Mitch Albom called “The Time Keeper”. In it the inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. Father Time is granted his freedom and a chance to redeem himself by teaching two people the true meaning of time. I won’t spoil the book for you. You should check it out yourself. It’s a short, but very good read.
In summary, it reminds us that receiving more time lessens the importance of the time we are already given. We should use the time we have for what is most important.
So hopefully reading this will bring you closer to becoming more active and present in your daughter’s life. As much as you don’t want to hear it, there will come a day when you won’t be here for her. It’s only a matter of…
P.S. This works both ways, daughters. Don’t forget to call Dad on Sunday.