Reclaiming Time as a Gift

Dear Reader:

I remember the days of working full time as a teacher and single mother of three children and staying angry at time. How unfair it was to have the same amount of hours, minutes, and seconds each day while the list of everyday responsibilities grew and grew and grew. Something had to give!

Time began to feel like a burden… a yoke on my shoulders pulling me down. I kept chastising myself for not being more structured… and then one day last week I came across the Gaines’ spring edition ( Magnolia Journal) whose theme was on time.

If you have ever watched any of their early HGTV episodes you picked up quickly that Joanna Gaines was one of the most organized structured people on the show… with then four, now five, children and numerous projects she would have had to be structured to stay afloat of it all.

But even Joanna admits that she got to the point where efficiency started controlling her time over everything… even the precious moments that were worthy of her time.

She tells the story of a family reunion at her parents’ home which began happily enough-but then she started fretting over getting her youngest, Crew, home and in bed by 8. If not he would be cranky the next day and they would all pay the price. As she started packing up her father came up and asked her to stay and watch the sunset with him. Her father rarely asked for anything but Joanna regretfully told him “no” she had to get Crew home.

She began to regret her decision almost immediately and then Covid hit and she couldn’t be with her father. Just recently for their first reunion after vaccinations she made a date with him to watch the sun set. Joanna concluded that too much structure leaves little space to simply be delighted… to let a moment catch you by surprise!

So until tomorrow…It wasn’t until I faced a health crisis that seemed destined to shorten my life that I began to view it as the greatest gift of all and now I leave time to garden and watch light dapple through the trees.

I now understand that sometimes wasted time isn’t wasted time at all… but the best use of my moments and my most valuable resource.

” Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

Results of my precious time in the garden!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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8 Responses to Reclaiming Time as a Gift

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Going to spend time with Suzy…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am so glad…please pass on a big hug from me and let her know that I would be happy to help her in anyway….prayers are a given…anything else I can do…I will do. Safe travels!


  2. Thank you, Becky. You probably noticed that I have not written on my blog in weeks. I seemed to have run out of words, yet, I feel every day was wasted and i was not a little bit useless. I even created another blog site that I need to organize, trying to reignite something. My prayer is that our Father in Heaven will resurrect my passion to blog and to spread encouragement and inspiration. I seem a little lost. Did this happen when you retired? Good post today.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I was retired several years before the birth of Eva Cate and my first arrival at St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope…and oh yes..I was lost…with the kids all gone…I was at a lost crossroads…then came the wedding, the cancer diagnosis and the birth of Eva Cate…suddenly spurred on by telling my story before “little c” ruled my existence I started the blog and it brought back the light in my eyes and the spring in my step….the same will happen to you…we all have to wander in the wilderness during ort lives to find our one true path….it will happen…I promise you and when it does so forth come the words.


  3. Beth B says:

    Time is a gift we never get back and how we use our time can never be relived!! I once lost several people I was very close with over a short period of time. Never once did I say I spent too much time with them. A beautiful post Becky. Thank you.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Oh Beth…it is so wonderful to hear from you…as we grow older ….thank goodness our understanding of the universe grows with it…and one of those most important gems of wisdom is our newer awareness of the sanctity of life through time…never to be taken for granted…not one single day, hour, or minute. Stop by any time and visit!


  4. Lynn Gamache says:

    For sure time is a wonderful gift which I am learning to embrace & enjoy more with each passing day…..”another day to use or waste— to squander in my usual haste or cherish as a gem so rare as if none other could compare”
    Love the photos today of the vibrant hibiscus & baby blue hydrangea. You have these plants blooming far earlier down there in the south. But what about your gas line-ups.? Hope you were able to fill up before the lines were too long and the hoarders too many!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Yes filled up Tuesday-so far we haven’t been affected by lines as much as other areas -but definitely paying more!

      Sent from my iPhone


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