I have never had an affinity for bread machines. As a matter of fact, I pretty much blame them for the downfall of society as we know it—those and home improvement shows that make you believe you can redo an entire house in twenty minutes.
We have come to expect the impossible and to expect it with both speed and accuracy. I watched the show “Hometime” not long ago and during the thirty minutes it aired, they showed a dozen commercials, cheerfully bantered back and forth, watched as a concrete crew poured, stained, and stamped a huge porch, abnormally wide sidewalk, and an entire driveway, not to mention landscaping the whole yard while structuring a nuclear non-proliferation treaty with Iran and bringing peace to the entire known world. Okay, those last two may be a stretch, but they might as well have been included given the implied timeframe of everything else they “accomplished” during the show.
Bread machines are no better. They sit quietly on your counter, waiting patiently until you dump some stuff into them, push some buttons or turn some dials, and come back later to find a perfectly formed and baked loaf of bread. What happened to getting your hands all floury while working the dough then waiting patiently for it to rise so you could punch it down, knead it again, and go through the process one more time? The kneading and punching alone always offered a productive way to release any pent up aggression. Then to walk through the kitchen with that wonderful smell filling the room—there was a certain sense of pride and accomplishment when that loaf was pulled from the oven to be sliced and slathered in butter while still warm because we took the time to make it.
But these days too many of us rush through our lives, unwilling or unable to slow down. We hurry from one task to the next only to find ourselves so exhausted there is no energy left at the end of the day for the things that should matter the most. We wish away the lives of our children, longing for the day they can dress themselves, feed themselves, behave in public, drive to school, present us with grandchildren … We wish away our own lives, waiting for the “right time” to start a family, change jobs, pursue a dream, retire and travel, telling ourselves we can do that tomorrow or next week or next year. We take for granted there will always be time even as we find ourselves hurrying it along, until one day we wake up and the person staring back at us from the mirror does not even vaguely resemble the person we thought we would be.
Take a moment. Stop and look around you. There will not always be time.Decide what is important in life and focus your attention there. Make the most of every second of every day, even if it is required of you to use some of that time sweeping floors or crunching numbers or extolling the virtues of the latest technological device to a clueless public. No matter your lot in life, you have the power to enrich the lives of those you meet along the way—and it is never too late to begin abiding by that philosophy. Live so that when you are gone there will be those who actually mourn your passing and are better for having known you.
This post was written by Lisa Thomas, manager of Shackelford Funeral Directors in Savannah, Tennessee.