“On everything that you start in life there is a timer. Knowing that time is ticking we should probably get to it, huh?” -Me
I POSTED THAT LITTLE QUOTED FACTOID to my Last Native Facebook page on Saturday. While I get little lightning bolts of cool things to say and post from time to time I can’t say that I completely came up with this one on my own. I was given an assist by the man I like to call “The Coolest White Man To Ever Walk The Earth” and that, of course, is the man known as Sting. I came to know of Sting and The Police at a very young age and knew that he was no ordinary White guy. Some rockers seemed to be abstract just for the sake of being so but Sting, even when his songwriting tried to be mysterious, made plenty of sense to me. On Saturday when I found myself listening to one of my favorite Sting songs, “Seven Days” from the album “Ten Summoner’s Tales”, over and over and over again last Saturday afternoon the message of time struck a chord with me. There’s a large lesson in that tune’s incredible rhythmic timing, but like most good messages, they most often go unheeded.
For those of you not versed in the ways of a man so awesome he shunned his given name, Gordon Sumner”, for the uber-cool moniker “Sting” I’ll give a little background. The song “Seven Days” is the tale of a man given an ultimatum by his lover to decide whether he will or won’t make her the ultimate object of his affections (read: sh*t or get off the pot), complicating matters is that she has another suitor for her affections that is looking to make a play for her himself. Even with all of this, our protagonist continues to drag his feet throughout the week deeming the next day a more appropriate time to deal with the matter at hand. Therein lies the main character’s similarity to some of our own occasional mindsets. Seemingly every day we start new timers in life. When we meet a new person a new clock starts to tick. When we start a new job we click the button on another stopwatch. When we buy a new car or a new house sand starts to slip through a shiny new hourglass. Everything has a timer and most everything has an end date but very seldom do we take that into consideration on a daily basis. It is second nature for us to just consider things as granted and not do what we can every day to maximize our opportunities, our relationships, or our possessions. Instead what we do is consider that work something that we can hold off on until tomorrow, or the next day, perhaps the one after that; all the while the time that we have with that person, place or thing is expiring with every breath we take (Skrap’s Note: you see what I did there? Throwing in that additional Sting lyric in context like that? You’re impressed, don’t lie!)
Our main character goes on to realize two very important things. The first thing is that he realizes that he doesn’t have an awful lot of time to play with and, secondly, that he does in fact love the girl. Moments of clarity like that typically exist in music and in Hollywood movies, there’s a light bulb that clicks into the on position at just the precise moment that gives just enough time for the wrongs to be righted and victory to be ripped from the jaws of defeat…because that’s the modus operandi of music and Hollywood movies. We don’t live in radios or Hollywood movies though. We are imperfect people in a crazy world and often we lose, and we lose at our own hand due to our inability to see the good things that we possessed until that good no longer exists! It is unfortunate that we see value more clearly after the fact than when we needed to before that thing was gone. How great would it be for all of us that have been in similar situations personally or professionally to have had that “nick of time” moment where we could take advantage of every opportunity and put everything where it’s supposed to be? I’m certain that it would save a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth…but lessons have to come from someplace right? Right!
We don’t know if Sting’s main character ultimately beat out the opposing suitor and gained the affections of the fair maiden but we can take solace in knowing that he realized his true feelings and that he had time, albeit a small window of time, to express himself. Those of us that find ourselves in friendships, relationships with family and significant others, jobs, or anything that finds its way into our lives can use that as a blueprint. Those things that we consider important and that we like to view as permanent should be cared for and nurtured as such so as to maximize that shared time so that when the clock hits zero you’re able to celebrate the fullness of the shared time rather than lament what could have been!
Never put off for tomorrow the work that could be done today. Don’t settle for Wednesday when Tuesday will do. Whoever your love, whatever your work, whatever your goal, be careful to mind the timers in your lives; do what you can to get the most out of the ticks of your watch. Thanks, Sting!
~thanks for reading 🙂
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