Poem · Poetry

She Kept to Her Schedule


I remember a time
when time was not just another consumable,
and moments were embraced
instead of thrown away by distraction
and the addiction to over-doing.
A time when moments were moments
and clocks were wall decorations,
their faces barely noticed.
There was no inward push
or unrelenting need to get from here to there,
to check off this list or that.
I remember a time
when moments unfolded
with youthful joy and presence.
That was eons ago.

When did keeping time morph into losing it?
We schedule, we plan, we run around getting things done
and in a flash, another day is done.
Do the morning routine,
get the workout in,
clean up and put on the public face and accessories,
suffer the commute,
work long hours,
scrape together some nutrition,
eat fast and mindlessly,
catch up with social media,
the news,
go to bed.
Then try to sleep with a restless mind in full gear,
still ticking through your list.
Get up.
Do it all over again.
Time is spent.

But not wisely.

Life is short.
We all say it,
but few of us get it
until we get to be fifty something
and our friends start getting sick and dying.
Life is really short!

What if we get to the end of our life,
and this is what our tombstone says:
“Loving mother and wife. She kept to her schedule.”


We must learn the art of The Stop.
Stop the inner push that moves us forward
into the next thing
when we have not even experienced
what is before us
right now.

How many times have I been so busy planning
that I forget to notice
what is in my current vision?
How many times have I missed the colors, the beauty, the scents
the loved one next to me
because I am in my head
instead of my moment?

How many times have I pretended to listen
while I get something else accomplished simultaneously?
How often did I forget to look into your eyes
to see the longing
or the love there?

We are taught to do
instead of to be.
We are deceived into believing
that filling up our days with busyness
means we are doing well in life.
It is not true.

We must stop.
Push the pause button as often as possible.
Notice. Relish. Honor. Appreciate.
Embrace fully
as if our life depended on it,
because it does.

Otherwise, we spend our life
like we are on a credit card binge
which leaves us empty and bankrupt
in the end.

Life is short.

Copyright © Cynthia Cady Stanton 2017


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