Take Time to Treasure What’s Important

We’ve had a madly busy week. My teenage daughter’s been performing in two theatre groups and has had band and choir practice; my son’s had football trials, won three sports day races and a house cup. My husband and I smile at each other as we pass the car keys back and forth, one of us leaving, the other arriving. But that’s OK; it’s natural. Our kids are growing, learning, filling their young lives. It can be tiring, though. Maybe it’s meant to be.

As I was driving back from my dad’s house yesterday, (he’s eighty four and had a heart attack earlier in the year so I do his shopping) I heard this song on the radio. I haven’t heard it for years. I vaguely remembered Jim Croce’s tragic story, but had never really listened to the lyrics.

Winding my way through the hills towards our town, I found myself crying, streaming tears turning to stifled sobs. It might have been gratitude, for finding my husband, for being blessed with kids, for still having my dad, even though times are tough. It might have been tiredness and guilt, knowing that, although I’ve been back on track this week, there have been times in the last few months when I haven’t been available for my kids. But I think it was the terrifying realisation that the years are flying by, and that the four of us won’t always be together in the cosy wee house where we live now.

Who will you treasure today?

Time In A Bottle

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are there any memories so precious and vivid for you that it feels like you have managed to save time in a bottle?

30 thoughts on “Take Time to Treasure What’s Important

  1. Hi Janice,
    I, too, have a teenaged son and daughter, and have been thinking much along the same lines as you – as much as they drive me nuts, etc., they will be gone before I know it. I absolutely cannot listen to Jim Croce without losing it completely. He was part of my youth, and his songs are even more poignant now. I remind myself everyday to enjoy the moment with my family ~ no matter what the worries are about money, am I fulfilling my life’s purpose, etc. ~. Thanks for the great reminder about Jim Croce and how precious our daily lives are.
    I’m glad I found your blog ~
    Lori in Portland, Oregon

  2. Hi Janice
    I thought about you last night as I sat in a pub with a friend and listened to a wonderful Scots/Irish balladeer. I thought, I bet Janice would like this guy. And look what you did today — you shared a beautiful ballad with us. I love it when stuff like this happens! Hope you have a wonderful weekend with your family.

    Brenda´s last blog post..Toward Gladness

  3. Losing my mom at the age of three forced me to the school of “Hard Knocks” that forever imprinted on my heart that time in a bottle is the way to live each day for today will come no more. I strive to saturate each day of life like a full sponge that cannot absorb another drop. I sleep on a pillow knowing I made the most of each moment happy, disappointing or sad. My children at the age of 7 and 5 have blessed me with the opportunity to relive my childhood, capture time in a bottle and repeat the process again with their children someday. In spite of whatever challenge, my children always break it down and put life into proper perspective. I love their vision and embrace it as much as I can and try harder tomorrow if I slip. Lovely post. Perfect song.

    Cindy´s last blog post..Top 10 Thank Yous for our Best Dad

  4. @Lori,
    Glad to meet you, too! My friend’s just had holidays in Oregon and he always comes back with tales of how beautiful it is.

    Teenagers are designed to test us, I think, just to get us used to the idea of them leaving home some day, but what primed me for the pain of that song wasn’t just coming back from my dad’s house; it’s probably because my youngest only has two more days left at primary school. No more wee Christmas plays with tea towel-headed shepherds and school-made cards with glitter on; no more sports days with egg and spoon races or open days to see project work stuck on the walls. The thought of that makes me cry; goodness knows what i’ll be like when they finally fly the nest. I don’t know if you read my post called Birds, bees and Blogging, but I cried when our baby blackbirds flew off!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the song. I’m never sure how old my readers are, but I thought there might be a few people reading who are too young to remember Jim Croce’s version. I loved it more this time round because I felt every word.

    @Dani (Positively Present)
    Thank you. Your comments support so many bloggers, I’m glad you find some inspiration and support here!

    @Brenda,
    It made my day to know that you were thinking of me, that we’re all getting to know each other slowly. I used to sing songs like this in pubs and tavernas.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend, too. I treasure all the folk who read my blog and who take the time to leave comments. I worried that this song might make you sad, but I decided if I can’t share my heart here, in my own blog, where can I…? I believe with all my heart that the people who come to our café know I would never post a piece like this thoughtlessly.

    @Jack,
    Thank you! 🙂

    @Cindy,
    I’m glad that you and I can be children again, friends holding hands in the playgrounds of our relived childhoods. I value every word about your mum you share with us; your memories and thoughts of her always touch me deeply. Thank you.

    • I’m glad it reminded you of someone close.

      By the way, you have the dubious honour of being my first threaded comment reply! Fingers crossed…

  5. Hi Janice,

    Throughout my life, I have never been a fan of taking pictures because memories are imprinted in my brain and no picture comes close to recapturing that memory. Granted, this is just what works for me and each person has to do what is best for them.

    When we went to Hawaii, we took pictures because of the blog and that was fine. It felt weird but I have used the pictures on my site. At any rate, I think each time we remember something we relive it. Actually, that is what happens in the body and the brain. The body responds as if it is happening for the first time when it recalls a memory.

    As for who I treasure, I treasure every person who has been in my life (the good and the not so good) because they made me who I am today. As for what memories I treasure and recall so vividly…there are so many.

    Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog post..Happy News (June 28, 2009) – Tribute to Michael Jackson

  6. Hi Nadia,
    I love taking photos, always have done, but it’s not primarily to remember things. I love capturing the fleeting essence of moments, objects, places and people to help other people share my experiences, a bit like I do in my writing, music and painting. I’ve found that blogging has revitalised my love of photography and encouraged me to anchor my awareness of visual beauty; it’s given me a way to share how I process the world, just like being able to put videos and music clips on my blog does.

    What was poignant about this old home movie footage of Jim Croce was that a friend captured him totally absorbed in the moments he was spending with his wife and child, unaware that his life would soon be cut short. It saddens me to see parents so absorbed in recording their children’s lives that they miss out on the wonder of sharing them.

    • I can’t express how much my heart is with you right now. Caring for any elderly loved ones is hard enough, but Alzheimer’s turns everything on its head so cruelly, makes us all realise how much we take the simplest of things for granted until we lose them. My dad is doing well after his heart attack, but it gives me a strange feeling when he calls my daughter by my name, and talks about people and places from his youth, forgetting that they are memories from before I was born. If there’s ever anything I can do to support you, please let me know.

  7. Janice,
    What a great post, song and memories. I can put myself right in your place 15 years ago. It took me a long time to get through the empty nest. Silly me…thought it would be a breeze!

    I agree with Nadia we remember at cellular level. That’s why it’s so important to heal the past. So the bad aren’t relived.

    I’m grateful for all because we are all one!

    Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..51 Tips for Living The Good Life

    • Thanks, Tess. You seem very content and serene now, so there’s hope for me! I agree about the way memories affect us at a deep cellular level. I don’t know why, but my Greek memories are so intense, I feel like I was branded by the Greek sun. I’ve done a guest post for Chania Girl about some intense Greek memories and impressions, but may post a few here this summer. Lori’s comment strengthened my determination to make sure that I treasure every moment, and heal any painful ones. When my kids are very old, I’d love them to have good memories of us, full of love and presence. When my own memories wander back to the past, I don’t want to remember teenage years full of clashing.

  8. This is one of my favorite songs, thank you for the lyrics. I know there have been moments that you want time to stop and treasure forever. Especially when it deals with your family and their accomplishments and/or milestones.

    If you have time, please check out the post I did today about “Making Quotes From Comments. ” Another post that was inspired by you. Thank you.

    Ana´s last blog post..Make Quotes From Comments

    • Hi Ana,
      I read your post yesterday but was scared to comment because of the times my laptop has crashed after I’ve left a comment on your site and other Blogger sites that have a Followers box. It’s an Internet Explorer/Blogger problem. But I’ve just been over and risked it – thank you! You’ve made my quotes look like a proper writer wrote them!

      I’m glad you liked the song. I hadn’t heard it for years or really listened to the lyrics. I was meant to hear it this week.

  9. I had never seen that Jim Croce video. It’s all the more poignant because he was not alive much longer after that video. His song is a touching reminder that none of us really know how much time we have. It is so important to make sure our loved ones know every single moment of every single day, how much we love them.

    I remember reading a story once by a lady who was always irritated by her husband’s snoring. She would try to wake him or move him, only to end up sleeping on the couch because she couldn’t stand it. When he died suddenly all she could think of to say was, “I’m sorry, God. I would give anything to hear him snoring just one more night.”

    When I was pregnant with my first child, I found out that a classmate of mine was due at the same time. Her baby was stillborn and I thought of that every time my newborn awakened me in the middle of the night or was cranky. I thought,”I will be grateful for every cry, because she would have given anything to be able to hear her baby cry.”

    Songs that talk about time, always seem to choke me up. This one by Jim Croce, “Butterfly Kisses”, and especially “100 Years” by Five for Fighting. Have you ever heard that one? It will make you cry, Janice, I promise.

    Randi´s last blog post..Sunday Serenity 6-28-09

    • Hi Randi,
      Do you get up in the morning determined to find ways to make me cry!? Your comment nearly started me off; my friend lost her baby too, and my husband snores. I tell myself every night I’m lucky to have that snoring in my life; it stops me bashing him over the head with a book.

      I’ll check those songs out later. Thanks!

    • Thanks for this. Unfortunately, because of copyright restrictions, I wasn’t allowed to view it in this country. maybe a good thing if it was a real weepy one. I’ll try another route.

  10. Thanks Marc. All you have to do to bottle precious moments is be aware of them, feel blessed, grateful and happy they’re happening. Being a soppy, spiritual kind of black belt, I’m guessing you do that anyway. 😉

      • I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been like that recently, feeling that I’m letting an awful lot slip through my memory and awareness.

        • It’s a strange feeling – and maybe I’m completely off regarding the source here- but lately it feels like the old days in school. The ones where I had homework to hand in the next day but I hadn’t done it yet.

          Not that there were very many of those days *cough*

          • I think a lot of us could simply do with a holiday, the chance to log off, sit back and reflect as well as rest and get centred again.

  11. Janice, this is one of my very favorite songs! What a great post you write for us today…I love to think about things like this today. There is so much to treasure in the moment. Today I treasure the quiet cloudy day with my kids. They are playing with their cousin and having so much fun…

    Caroline´s last blog post..Focusing on self

    • Thanks, Caroline. I hope that in there among those magical moments spent watching your kids playing, you had the chance to take some of your glorious photos!

  12. Wow, this is the first time I’ve visited your blog and it blew me away with it’s writing, inspiration, and brought me to this moment. Thank you, and keep writing.

    • Thank you! It’s a pleasure to have you here! I hope you have time to visit some of the comment boxes if you explore the site; one of the things I love most about logging on every day is the people who drop in and visit what I like to think of as our wee café. (Probably watched too many Friends episodes!) I’ve been stunned by how much insight, wisdom and support people have been willing to share.

Comments are closed.