I guess the title When Time Matters sounds so obviously “d’uh!” in a lot of people’s mind. In our short life, time always matters. But even though the fact is so easily acknowledged, often the seriousness of the subject seems lost when we try to be aware of it in our daily life.

This reflection is not an easy subject for me. Usually in order to come up with reflective post like this, I need quiet, contemplative time and a balanced sense of mind. That unfortunately became such an unattainable luxury for the past month or so. Day work has been insane, personal matters became cumbersomely tired and neglected, and my creative mind just stalled.

Dark thoughts clouded my sky, because of which I chose to stand still for a while.

OK, so enough of that depressing crap. I’m trying to share something here :) Your life and time aren’t BFF for a lot of people, and I don’t think it has to go that way. This may become one of those TLDR things, but hey, if you think this thing matters to you, then read on!

Perhaps I’ve been having lingering thoughts about this subject matter for a while. And the subject of “time” is easily connected to the subject of “age”. In this era when people strive to be fresh and young all the time, a lot of us are cringing in the inside when probed about our age. We can blame it to marketing, pop culture, younger family members, younger people in your circles, but eventually I believe we have to accept the fact that we’re going through time and aging as a result.

Our society has brainwashed us in thinking that “aging” is such an unattractive word. When cosmetic procedures run amok, people approaching 25 years of age lamenting their lost of “prime youth”, people approaching 18 years old crying themselves to sleep for becoming “ancient”, it’s becoming more and more ridiculous (and not to mention, sad) if we not even so much try accept the way we are going.

There are numerous examples where the term “20-somethings” are being emphasized. TV pilot, blogger profile, magazines, the term pops everywhere. And not just “20-somethings”, but the other decade pointers (30s, 40s, 50s, 60s) are ever-present to remind us to box ourselves in a certain period of frozen time. “You need to dress your age”. How many times have we heard that? That may work for some people, but it’s not a mantra for everyone.

“Dressing your age” has the pitfall of giving people a predetermined set of assumptions, because it’s something that’s very marketed in the media, especially in prints (i.e.: magazines). An extreme example of this pitfall is celebrities, whom “normal” people tend to put them on top of a pedestal and associate certain sets of attributes with the famous. If the celebrities deviate from those attributes, they’re instantly persecuted (and yes, Madonna talked about this topic recently).

A lot of us may not ever experience such extreme cases, but we need to be aware of the consequences of trying to fit ourselves in a box that we ourselves don’t define. It’s a waste of time! Even the most conservatives can benefit from taking a risk and try something different. I believe in dressing by body type (that’s why we have stylists — ranging from highly professional to your 3-year old daughter or son, and anywhere in between and beyond) and try something fun once in a while. Magazines, fashion sites & blogs all can give us inspirations on how to update our looks, but you do that in your own time. And of course, taste is personal and varies from person-to-person, so don’t be so hard on yourself if someone (or more people) doesn’t agree with some of your particular styles.

Am I afraid of getting older? Yes. Things happen, your body gets “broken”, your mental capacity is decreasing, and life matters can consume you. But YOUR time matters, so embrace it and hold your head high. The other side of going through time is the opportunities that allow you to experience new things, trial-and-errors, thrive, and live to the fullest, if you choose to open yourself to it. Don’t be afraid to grab opportunities & stay true to yourself, but be aware of your personal need — if you need to calm down a bit to collect yourself, don’t feel guilty, because it’s going to be time well spent.

The other thing that seems the most cliche but important nonetheless is the advice of “Don’t waste time with trivial matters, instead pursue your passion.” Easier said than done, because in reality it’s much easier to cope with what’s predefined than trying to define things your own. It’s a path of hard work and non-guaranteed success. But in life, nothing is guaranteed, right? Not even time. We all don’t know how much time we have left. So open your mind, be brave, and pursue things that matters most to you. And while you’re doing it, make room for others to both get inspired by and inspire you.

And the last thing is duty. Things that seem like chores, but perhaps matter in the long run. Even though I strongly dislike these things because they come to me as annoying routines and things you HAVE to do in order to move forward with anything, I have to admit that mastering how to maneuver yourself in duty is something that will serve you well. Especially if there are cases of emergency, as long as you have your duty under control, the cases can be dealt more smoothly. Duty, for me, is where the saying “Fail to prepare is prepare to fail” holds true the most.

In essence, balance your passion and duty, be good to others, and walk through time in your own pace. God willing, you’ll get what matters in life (and beyond) for you.

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving,

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