Time: Our Most Valuable Asset

There's no real way to begin this so I'll just dive right in.

Over the past 3 years, I have a lost family member who meant a great deal to me. With 2014 being, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst year of my life - with the loss of my grandfather and some very stupid decisions on my part, I've been provided with some perspective. I should also mention that, over this semester, I've worked in geriatrics as a student nurse, so I have seen death and felt the impact that it brings.

Trying to imagine someone else's perspective or point of view can be a daunting task for most, and understandably so. You haven't seen what they've seen or gone through the things that they have gone through, but I'm going to ask you, here and now, to try and see my point of view.

When you watch someone who you have known your entire life begin to break down and lose their grasp on reality as their health diminishes - it's a shock, it hurts, it's depressing, and often times, you don't know how to handle it. It's an experience that very few people, if any, are prepared for because until you've felt what it is to have gone through these things, it's a very hard thing to imagine. I went through this with my grandfather this year and I was not ready for it and I am still coming to grips with it, but as miserable as this experience has been, it has led me to think about some things.

Switching lanes for a second, I want to talk about what I have seen in my experience in geriatrics because it applies as well. After working with people with severe Dementia/Alzheimer's or just general old age, it makes you start to appreciate some things. When you lose the ability to walk without assistance, eat without assistance, or hell, even go to the bathroom on your own - you begin to appreciate the little things. Every aspect of your life takes on a new shine - the good, the bad, and all of the things in between.

Now let me tell you what I've learned from this all. Time is an unavoidable, and let's face it, shitty part of life. Time is something that no one on this world has enough of. Time for yourself, time for others, time for your family/friends/loved ones, time to sleep, there's not enough time to go around. And often times, people spend so much of their time wishing things were better for themselves or others (but mostly themselves). We complain to anyone who will listen or just to ourselves because no one else cares about what we have to say. We can't just stop and look at the world around us and see how incredible it is. Now I understand that I'm writing this from the point of view of someone who has the ability to do this as I know not everyone on this planet has this luxury and that brings me a deep sadness. Every single memory you have, whether it be the worst day of your life or your happiest, a painful or sad memory, a joyous or pleasing memory - all of them should be treasured. Because eventually time is going to start to take them away from you. Time will begin to strip you of the things that made you who you are.

What I'm trying to convey here is - appreciate the present and acknowledge the past and take each day as it comes. Appreciate the little things that you do each day, whether it be picking up a pencil and drawing a picture, cooking food, listening to music, or again, even going to the bathroom because you may not always have the ability to do these things. Time is both our worst and greatest asset and we should all appreciate the time that we do have. Call the ones who matter to you and tell that you love them. Put on your favorite music and relax and enjoy. Think on your past and how you became who you are and try to imagine what life would be like if you couldn't remember how you became how you are now.

If you bothered to read all of this - thank you. If anything I said struck a chord with you, I'm glad. This is the end of my thought vomit.


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What Girls Said 12

  • I'm a carer and I think these things. It makes me appreciate my young days more and I appreciate things like going to the toilet and walking because most people I care for, can't. Sometimes, I wish I could stop time so I could sleep longer and then get all my assignments done; then I'd restart the time and it'd be like a second past but it would all be done and I could continue life stress free. Someone needs to invent a time stopper!
    This is a good take and topic, well written with good meaning! Keep writing!

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  • This was a beautiful take, thanks for sharing. I can really relate. In 2013, I lost my grandmother which was extremely difficult to deal with. I still think of her often and reminisce on the time I had with her when she was still here. Too often people take the little things for granted, I know I'm guilty of that as well.

    I watched my grandmother go from a bright, healthy, mobile person to someone who couldn't even remember who I was and she was bed-ridden for nearly a year before she died. It's painful to watch someone you love deteriorate so fast and be in such a helpless situation and it certainly reminded me to appreciate the little things in life.

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  • For similar but different reasons to couldn't agree more. 2014 was the one of the most stressful years of my life. Taking sharp turns and stepping into the unknown. Refining myself on daily basis

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  • i'm sorry for your loss. i agree with you whole-heartedly. i've been pretty numb since i lost my dad in 2004. i am always paranoid that i'll lose the memories. i want to immerse myself in them and relive them. the passing of time terrifies me sometimes. i do stop to observe and appreciate the world around me and the ways God has blessed my life just like my dad taught me.

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  • It's amazing, I've been thinking about quite a few of the things you mentioned as of late. Time is an incredible thing, and I want to make use of whatever amount of it I might have, not squander it. Metaphorically speaking, time is a train you can't stop. You can either be bored as hell, frustrated as hell waiting for it to get easier, or just sit back and enjoy it as it comes.

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    • Life can seem as wonderful or as horrible as you make it.

  • I lost my uncle on Dec. 2, he had cancer. Even he was my uncle, I felt empty and in pain, I saw his kids (now 20s something) so vulnerable. I learned that there a no coincidences, that I/we need to appreciate our treasure, the present.

    Is a ling way but at 26 I feel I'm starting to understand a bit.

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    • Its not an easy thing to accept but I think it would make everybodys lives a little bit better.

  • I think I really needed to read something like this to remind me, thank you. I'm a person who stresses constantly. So much that I even grind my teeth while sleeping worse than any of my dentists have ever seen. I can't even sleep without stress! Because my mind is just constantly thinking and dwelling over the hardships of life, and desperately trying to find ways to improve. This year has been really rough for me, too (though not the roughest in my life, and probably not as rough as yours), and I think much of my life has been lost, which most of the time I blame for bad circumstances. But really, most of the blame is probably myself, for not remembering the happy moments over the bad ones, and for not taking the time to appreciate things rather than complain about them. This was a great article and I hope that you are coping with your losses well. I wish you the best Mr. Panda. :D

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    • Im really glad you liked the article. And im sorry to hear about your stress and struggles. I appreciate your kind words and I wish you all the best as well.

    • We pandas need to stick together! :p We're an endangered species... ;~;

  • Very well-thought out take.

    I think deep down, everyone knows this but doesn't realize it until something bad happens to them. For me, that feeling first came when my younger brother was completely rendered dependent on my parents from a genetic defect we didn't know he had until too late. It taught me to open myself more, albeit ever so slowly.

    I remember reading another article that asked old people what they regret the most and the resounding answer was spending time with their loved ones. Glad you had some quality time with your grandma before she left.

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  • great point of view! and you really write great, honestly, an from the heart.
    (you could make a great author! i'll be your first customer!)

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  • I absolutely love this. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Time is so important and I get so wrapped up in school and work that I forget to let myself enjoy it. It's funny I read this right after I wrote something about death. It's good to look at the positive aspects of life. I can be a pessimist at times and when people post things like this, it really puts things in a better perspective.

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    • My grandfather has Alzheimer's and we have had to watch his mind slowly slip away. It is definitely one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever been through because he really is my favorite man on Earth, but that's just how life goes.

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    • I think I've seen that! That was a beautiful video I'll have to do that. Thanks, friend!

    • Of course! I wish you and your family the best of luck!

  • As you know, I've crawled my way through very similar thought vomit. Having gone through several similar "death watches", I felt changed by it and I could see my family changed by it as well.
    Unfortunately, these are very difficult sentiments to hang onto because of the pace with which life speeds by. "Oh man, do I have enough to pay the electric bill?" "I lost my job! What is going to happen to my family now?" "The man I love loves someone else and it feels unbearable!"

    Thanks for the reminder! I'll try to keep treasuring the moments!
    Beautiful message, my friend :-)

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  • I really really relate to this take, having just gone through something similar. It really kind of makes you face your own mortality, as well at that of those around you.

    Very thought-provoking.

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    • You know it really really does. Like I was watching a video in one of my classes today on how music affects people with dementia and how it can essentially make them who they were again if only for a brief period of time. I just watched and tears formed in my eyes because emotions I have them, and I just thought I can't imagine losing what it was that makes me who I am.

    • Yeah my grandmother died two years ago, she had Alzheimer's and it was so good and devastating to see certain things bring her in and out of who she really is/was.

What Guys Said 12

  • I take solace in the fact that I will see all of my family again one day after my time has come. And until then I take joy in the fact that I spend as much time as I can with all of my family and make the most of our limited time on this earth. Another interesting note a uncle ( my mothers brother ) recently turned up after vanishing out of thin air for 10 years for the longest time we thought he was dead. And now he has returned a changed man from what he once was so it will be interesting seeing the man he is today from the man he was last time I saw him some 10 years ago.

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  • This is amazing bro. We all like to pretend nothing can happen to ourselves or our loved ones because of the pain it brings but we should always be prepared and appreciate the things we have. It can happen in a flash and they're gone. Cancer with my mom and my sister with a car accident where we nearly lost her several times caused me to NEVER take anyone for granted again or the finite time we have.

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  • Well written. And it's something I can agree on. A+

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  • This was a good one bro

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  • Sometimes I almost wish I saw my grand parents and my uncles/aunts die. I feel like it's an important event I missed since all relatives outside of my immediate family live outside the country. So I've never been close or in contact with any of them when they died so I wasn't affected at all. They were all unknown strangers to me that I've never met except when I was 1-2 years old.

    As a result I've never lost a close family member (outside of my cats) and I feel incredibly unprepared emotionally. I know it's just a matter of time before I witness the death of my mother and father and I'm terrified of it.

    Anyway, great Take man thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  • Most of my family is dead. As I age time goes quicker and quicker. To the younger users here. DO NOT WASTE TIME WITH HATE, ANGER AND INSECURITIES. I am not sure I can type more from the tears rolling down my face.

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  • Very sorry to hear that. R. I. P. your grandfather.
    Thanks for sharing a take about the most important topic in the world i. e. TIME. Motivation at its best!

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  • I'm not really good at giving responses to this kind of thing but I'd just like to say this was well written. That means, it was written from the heart and it totally struck a chord with me. Sorry to hear of your experiences too. Stay strong and keep going.

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    • All comments are appreciated! Im just happy people are taking the time to read it. I appreciate the kind words as well.

  • I honestly can't imagine going through something like that. One of my greatest fears in my life is my mom getting Alzheimer's. Reading this take was a wake up call for me to appreciate my family way more than I have lately. I've been pushing everyone away because well, that's kinda my thing. After reading this, im definitely going to try to change that and appreciate the little things a lot more. Thank you for that, nice take bro.

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  • There you go, son. Nicely said.

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  • You know I always tell it like it is Panda, so I won't pretend to know what it's like to lose a close loved one. Thankfully all of mine are still alive, and although I don't take them for granted, reading this article makes it all the more important that I try my hardest to make them proud and to make the most out of my time with them, and more importantly, the most out of the time they have invested in me so I can become my best, and admittedly, I don't feel I have reached that yet, I need to try harder.

    The way I see it is many people spend their entire lives chasing riches in the form of gold or jewelry or diamonds, and in their endeavors they become blind to the most rare and precious treasure of all, the unconditional love and time spent with people who care for you and accept you for who you are. Hell, some people never come to realize this. Even more so, some people never grow up having experienced it. The world is a cold place. But for however cold or dark the world and reality is, it's good to know that in some small pocket part of the world, you're doing your best to light the way.

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    • I know you tell it like it is and thats why I wanted you to comment here. And as I said in the comment below I was so caught up while writing this that I kind of forgot that money was a thing and to be honest im glad that I did.

  • So very well stated, @PANDAmonium.

    Money may have importance but life doesn't end when we run out of money. Life ends when we run out of time.

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    • Good point I was so in the zone while writing this I completely spaced the fact that money is a thing lol.

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