As it sometimes happens, I pose questions for which I don’t have a ready answer. And, as usual, once our colleagues begin to send in their answers to this month’s question, I found myself relating to a few. Since, we all have the same amount of time each day, how do we make time to do those things that really make a difference in our lives?
A pandemic has brought on questions, conditions, concerns, loss, opportunity and challenges for more than a year. Personally, I have squandered some of that time and made the best of some of it. The replies below encourage me to give this question further thought. This column poses open-ended questions to a selection of our colleagues each month. Adopted from the familiar “Heard on the Street” format, there are their replies reported verbatim.
More Time on Their Hands
Wishing for more time and wanting to do something more often are afterthoughts of chosen priorities. Every day, we are faced with the challenges of our choices. I can say I wish I had more time to travel.
The truth is, I could, I just choose other things first. I’m blessed with a good staff that allows me considerable freedom, so I don’t really wish I had more time for something. There are just times when I need to decide what is most important and make it happen.
To learn new things … I am a life-long student who enjoys acquiring a new skill. Having time available to put my somewhat inept efforts into practice is the icing on the cake. Leslie Woodward Fairview Fittings Oakville, Ontario I wish I had more time to help people in need. It has been difficult with COVID-19 to get out and help with charity events or other initiatives I’m passionate about. With most of my contact being by Zoom, I try to give a little extra of myself every day, listen intensely and ask deeper questions when I realize there is more to learn about a person.
When I feel a person is struggling or there is more to the story, I dig in with discovery questions to create a courageous, honest conversation, which leads to improved, trusting relationships and a healthier mental outlook. I’m realizing you don’t have to be in person to make the difference. You can come across just as genuine and caring over Zoom — building lasting relationships to come.
When I think about time — or the lack thereof — I’m reminded of an interview with The Oracle of Omaha. Warren Buffet talked about his ability to buy basically anything he wants, except for time. Every moment that I am able to spend with the people I love is precious. My wife would probably say that I spend too much time working and not enough time relaxing, and she’s probably right. I would definitely spend more time vacationing and traveling with my wife and children.
Reading! It has been too long since I have gotten lost in a good story. I read quite a lot of children’s books and some parenting and business books, but I would love more time to read all of these in addition to something that is just for my own enjoyment.
I wish I had more time to volunteer. I’ve always dreamed of building a school, nursing home, housing units, and an animal shelter — all in the same vicinity. Every resident, child and animal would thrive by interacting with each other.
Buffalo, New York
In most cases, I think we commit ourselves to what we make time for. Not always of course; there can be competing demands for our time or urgent and unavoidable circumstances that can supersede all plans. All that aside, I would wish for more time to dedicate to our field teams working with them on development, operational and growth strategies. Of everything I do, being in one of our field locations working with and focusing on our people and business is most rewarding.
Boyd H. McGathey
Energy Distribution Partners
There are so many answers I could give, but I have to say, my grandchildren are very important to me. I wish I had more time to attend their sporting events and school functions and just hang out with them. They all have such unique personalities, and it has been a joy to watch them grow into the neat young people they are becoming. I know how quickly time flies, so I want to make the most of those moments with them.
McMahan’s Bottle Gas
I wish I could allocate more quality time to developing and maintaining important relationships with my family, friends, and business acquaintances. At this stage of my life and career, my health and family are my priorities. Those two areas are critical to me as I continue my work life, which I enjoy, and continue to promote propane safety risk management products and services to marketers.
P3 Propane Safety
Cumberland, Rhode Island
The Choices We Make
Recently, I had lunch with my granddaughter, who joined university life last fall with more than a little trepidation at the prospect of taking all her classes virtually. I’ve come to learn that “Zoom fatigue” is a real issue for many of us now, and asked her how she was handling remote learning. She told me her theory on compartmentalizing her life in order to accomplish what she needs to each day.
Lily has organized her life to include attending virtual classes, reading, writing, studying, staying in touch with friends and family and having fun. She is on the Dean’s List, which speaks well of her method. Through my granddaughter and my colleagues, I gained some insight on the question that we contend with every day: What choices are we making with our precious time to create the lives that we want?