Time is precious

Published 5:52 am Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I have the pool all to myself on the last morning of my wonderful week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A young mother passes by strolling her little one along the grassy pathway behind me. Perhaps they are looking for the horribly beautiful iguanas that often lounge there. The sound of construction crews working on a huge new condo nearby contrasts sharply to the silence I expected at this early hour. Tourism drives the economy here and appears to be going strong.

What fun I’ve had, meeting people from many parts of the world! A gentleman from Quebec stopped to chat a moment this morning. He, like many others I have met, lives here for six months of the year. I can certainly understand the motivation. Although sightseeing has kept me busy the general slow pace of this city on the Pacific seems to lull me into a state of perfect tranquility.

I look forward to returning to the states and hope this experience has taught me the wisdom of slowing down and choosing wisely. As I quickly move from activity to activity at home, do I really put my whole heart into each one? The realization that it is much better to do a few things very well than to say yes to endless activity strikes me once again.

People who decisively say “no” when they don’t have time or motivation for a worthwhile project or organization are wise. I have struggled with being a people pleaser all my life, I suppose.

Being able to say “no” in a firm, yet kind manner without feeling guilty is going to be my new normal. I am determined to resign from activities that take my focus away from those I really enjoy and feel led to do. Time spent on things that really capture my heart is always well spent. None of us can save the world, but we can all do our little part.

The busyness of my daily life and that “to do” list too many times lately has claimed the spot that once held my quiet moments with God. Time for a reset. Actually, one thing that has given me more opportunity to reflect and write is the simple fact that Internet and phone service has been spotty here in Mexico.

For a day or two the pain was real, but after a brief withdrawal period I understood what a waste much of my online perusing actually was. Older people tend to point their fingers at the younger generation for relegating many of their relationships to the often-shallow world of texting and Facebook, but I’m afraid I have succumbed as well.

So what will I do when I return home to service projects that aren’t really my thing? I’ll complete the ones in the works, and choose more carefully in the future. And what of that wonderful and convenient luxury of Internet service? Maybe I could hide my phone?

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.