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Column - Only 30 springs left

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columns Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. I always wish I could spend more time outside enjoying the miracle of nature's rebirth before the weather gets unbearably hot and the mosquitoes start buzzing.

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But there never seems to be enough time for gardening, walking in the woods, or taking photographs; there are always more pressing things that need to get done. Then, before I know it, one more spring has passed.

Although it's easy to say I'll put off doing the things I really want to do until next spring, I'm starting to realize that, in reality, I only have about 30 springs left to enjoy (if I'm lucky). As the years go by, I'm becoming more and more aware of the need to make good use of the time I have been given before it's all gone.

Time is a funny thing. It seems like it should go on forever, and yet before we know it, it's all used up.

It seems like only yesterday that I was a teenager in school. Time moved along a lot more slowly then. It seemed like everyone wanted to be older: to have a job, a car, money - all the stuff that we thought would make life worth living. Now, I sometimes wish that time would just slow down a little. It seems like every year goes by faster than the one before it.

In addition to moving faster as we get older, time is also strange in that it seems to speed up and slow down, depending on the situation we're in.

For example: Time moves faster on weekends or when we're on vacation, while time often moves slowly when we're at work. And if you happen to be unlucky enough to be in an algebra class, time might actually stop (or even go backwards).

Someone once said that "How fast a minute lasts depends on which side of the bathroom door you are on."

I guess it all depends on your perspective.

However, regardless of its speed, time continues to relentlessly march on for all of us. So how do we deal with it?

We all know people who take extreme viewpoints relating to time: Either every moment of each day for the rest of their life is filled with goals and to-do lists, or they drift along with no planning and just constantly look for fun. Neither is healthy.

While it's important that we don't neglect our responsibilities, it's also important that we realize what's truly important and make time for those things, rather than following a rigid plan or just drifting with the tide.

Maybe the best way to deal with the inevitable passage of time would be to enjoy all areas of our lives - including work (but not algebra) - and try to live a life of no regrets. That doesn't mean we get to do everything we want to in life, only that the things we do choose are so important that they make the other choices seem unimportant.

It's a bummer to think that I most likely only have 30 springs left to enjoy, but it also helps me focus. Is it really important that I get all those little projects on my list done, or should I spend some time fishing or playing with the kids instead?

It's easy for me to get caught up in the "as soon as I get done with these few things, then I can relax" trap. But no matter how much we get done, there's always going to be more to do. It's been said that when we die, our in-baskets still won't be empty.

We can't stop time, but we can try to enjoy every day and make sure we're spending it on what's really important.

Either that, or we could sign up for an algebra class.

"It's Our Turn" is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

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