Bedtime is the best time for philosophical ruminations.
Something about flipping the light switch makes children suddenly remember all the things that never happened.
They say, I didn’t have time to build a megaphone out of duct tape and an old vinegar bottle!
Or, I can’t sleep now, I have an idea for my graphic novel epic poem history of the revolutionary war!
And, But I was going to invent cold fusion today! Obviously.
And yes, it’s a ploy to keep those eyelids peeled open (why?), but also it’s an acknowledgement: There was more to do. There’s always more to do.
Time is sacred. We can’t create time, we can’t store it, we can’t get it back.
I mean, we try. We steal time, make time, find time, save time. We need time, we’re out of time, we’re never on time. (That might just be me.)
Each minute is, I think, divine. They’re freely given gifts, they flow around us and wash over us. Sometimes they knock us down and take our breath away.
And by the way, saying that each minute is a gift is not the same as saying that you should enjoy every one. Some gifts are terrible. I’m just saying that each one has its own kind of beauty — even if it’s the beauty of knowing that that minute will never happen again.
“There’s always tomorrow,” I hear myself saying to the children, as my mother used to say to me, as countless other mothers and fathers are saying right now as they tuck in their own minions. There’s always tomorrow.
And there is.
Tomorrow is on its way, bringing us a whole truckload of new minutes.
But maybe a better thing to say is: Tomorrow will be here soon, all full of possibility. Until then, what do you want to remember about today?
Because we get to choose which moments to pay attention to. We decide which ones to carry with us in memory or anticipation. We get to choose what those moments mean to us, and what we take away from them.
And choosing what to remember is another way of saying, Today was enough. We can be grateful for today, or at least for some of its minutes. Let’s look for them.
Instead of saying, Time is precious and look how much there is still to do!
What if we say, Today was precious, see how we lived in it?
We don’t have to list all the things we didn’t do.
We don’t have to focus on all the things that didn’t go according to plan. The things we did do count as much as the things we didn’t.
The minutes of win count as much as the minutes when we made a wrong turn, or said the wrong thing, or looked the wrong way. All the minutes matter. We just have to decide which ones we’re watching for, as we lie down at the end of the day.