I spent some time on a recent drive home from work thinking about why society has associated Nature as female and Time as male. (This is what happens when I don’t turn on the radio.) Why did it end up being Father Time instead of Mother Time/Father Earth?
Nature seems simple enough. Mother Nature, Mother Earth, the giver of life, and the more tender side of our existence all play into the stereotypical female role.
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.
Here are are a few thoughts on time and why what you do with it should shoot up on your list of priorities.
Men 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, usually 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 daughter.
We are expected to do something with it. Although the stereotype is changing 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 regret the fact that I have 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
Time is a burden. Deadlines. Appointments.
Time is finite…and thankfully so.
Does that last one surprise you? You might think a man who gets less than 40% of his daughter’s time in his life would be crying for another hundred years of life. And while it would be tempting (if it were possible), in the end it would have a negative effect.
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, Father Time, 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. The lessons taught are well…timeless. I won’t spoil the book for you. You should check it out yourself. It’s a short, but very good read.
But 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…