All they really want is our time…
I was told years ago that there was more to being a daddy than just giving my time. That it was more financial support that made the difference. Back then I had little in the way of finances, a large weekly bar tab will do that to you. I did however have time, but I did not spend near the quality nor quantity that alcohol let me think I did. Yet, I have learned that time is our greatest asset, it is what our children want from us the most. Supplying them with what they need is essential but when it is all said and done those things will not remain. It is the time, the memories made, that they remember. In recovery, I have found my greatest gift to my kids is my time. It is my recovered treasure. The sand in the hourglass of my purpose.
Now just because I have recovered that treasure does not mean I always use my time as I should. I am learning a day at a time to give my children that gift. I am doing well with most of them but still have one to go. But I am learning and it is giving something that I can never get back that makes it so precious. My moments on this earth are numbered. So today, I try to focus on giving them away in the efforts to make my children better people. Even if at a distance, to set examples on how to finally live life with integrity and responsibility. To not keep them all to myself where they just blow away like dust in the wind. Living in the present and being aware of these moments are a treasure that I must give away every chance I get.
When I was drinking daily, time seemed to drag on. There was never enough booze to speed the clock of life up to a faster pace. I could never appreciate that precious treasure in my life because I fixated on all that I had lost. Sitting at a bar as the seconds continued to slip away void of any purpose. I was drowning in self-pity, guilt, shame, and a hatred for the man who I had become. Days, hours, minutes seldom mattered, they all ran together anyways. Except for the fleeting moments of wonder with my kids. A birthday, a smile at an opened present at Christmas, the warmth in a hug and the sweetness of an, “I love you, daddy”! They would be the thread of life I clung to so desperately as I crashed into my rock bottom.
They say time is a gift that provides opportunities for memories that last a lifetime. Through my alcoholism I wasted most opportunities to make lasting memories. Through recovery I have begun to see just how precious those opportunities are. Not just through the memories like this weekend with Kam’s 10th birthday, my first with her in four years. But also in the memories I have lost in the failure to connect with my oldest daughter Haley. The lesson is being in the moment to have the clarity to see the rarity of the treasure I possess. Again, I am not always successful but I recognize the victories as well as the defeats. I am able to look at it for what it is and how I can make it better for others. It propels me forward instead of backward.
In recovery, God has transformed me from the inside out. It is a work that He is perfecting in me even though at times I am the biggest obstacle to that progress. I try to do my best at living well but my utmost purpose is helping others live well. It is that simple for me. My purpose is to help as many people as I can to find a recovered life. To set an example, to give of my time, to get out in front and lead. Especially when it comes to my children. I must be prepared to take the hit from life’s storms so others may be shielded from the damage. That takes continued training, dedication, and preparation and that requires my most precious treasure. My time! In that is freedom to be free and to live with a purpose to the fullest.
My time is short here on this earth. I am grateful today that I see the purpose in making each day, hour, minute, and second count. I relinquish my rights to be in a bad mood, have a bad attitude, or even a bad day. In those times I must kneel and submit to the God who has given my treasure meaning. The days that remain for me must serve to fulfill that purpose. People don’t want my posts, my videos, my blogs, my speeches. They just want to know that they have my time. That they matter to me. Today I am striving to give my time freely and unconditionally, that is part of what makes it so precious. But my kids have always had it right, they have always just wanted me to be there. In time, with grace, I hope to extend to them the life they have given to me.