On a recent walk out into the flat farmlands near my home in northwest Ohio I got to thinking about time. Having assigned the several 2014 calendars in our home to the recycle bin put me in a reflective mood. I puzzled over time itself as I played back memorable moments (the pleasant and the not-so-pleasant) that I experienced the past 12 months. I also made some silent promises to myself for 2015.

The pale light of the hazy moon barely illuminated the corn stubble on either side of the road. Only my footsteps broke the silence on that crisp clear night. Under that quiet dark sky it occurred to me that I couldn’t define time. Surely it must be easily definable given how often we reference it.

"Be on time."

"I need more time."
"It’s time well spent."
"You are wasting my time."
"Time is money."
Returning home from my walk – my legs pleasantly tired and my curiosity aroused – I Googled the Internet seeking the definition of time. Thousands of URLs for "time management" appeared within seconds but, shockingly, only one immediate reference to time itself. That was on Wikipedia. It read: 

"Time is a measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them. Time is one of four dimensions, in addition to the dimensions of space." (Uhmm.)

Does it seem strange to you that the most valuable thing that we possess is so poorly defined? Poorly understood? Perhaps (and discouragingly?) poorly appreciated? 

Given the finite amount of this most precious resource (gift?) that we’re blessed with, isn’t it reasonable to assume that we should use it in the most positive ways possible?

As landscape and lawn service business owners, managers and employees we start each new year  assessing our business needs, fixing and painting our equipment, revving up our marketing and sales programs. But, hopefully we are working to live rather than living only to work.

And yes, I realize we have to make a living and provide for our families. For some of us that means running a business and for some of us it means working in a business. But we have personal lives, too. We have family, friends, colleagues. Being with them gives us an opportunity to play together, laugh together and appreciate each other more. These are the memories that really matter, not the too-many nights or weekends many of us put in trying to "get ahead".

Time, whatever it really is, flows in one direction only. Whether we use it it in the most positive ways that we can or we don’t, that’s all we get.