I am a firm believer in alternative health practices, and have been going to acupuncture on the regular for awhile now. Anyone who has been there knows that while you are there, there is not much you can get up to. Lots of little needles protrude from different places and preclude you from moving around, checking email or social media, and in general doing anything other than laying there. Typically the effects of acupuncture are so relaxing to me that I settle into a light nap, a trance state, or a place where my mind and body gets quiet for a brief interlude in what is generally a pretty busy Saturday. Often there is some kind of soft, Chinese music playing in the office, harkening to another time and place, soothing and exotic at the same time.

One Saturday in particular they must have forgotten to turn on the music. After a brief chat, the doctor punctured me in all the right places, and left the room. It was then that I realized the only sound I could hear was the slow ticking of the clock. This sound, so familiar in so many ways, and yet so often unnoticed. Unheard. It got me thinking….How often are we quiet enough, still enough to hear the ticking of the clock?

The sound of a ticking clock can be unnerving. Unsettling. On that day for me, it took a lot of focus for me to not feel anxious about that sound. For when it’s just you and the clock, no other distractions, it can be an stark reminder of how fast it is all going. How each tick and tock is a slipping away of sorts. But this sound, if allowed to, can also be a firm reminder that we are in charge. Of our life. Our destinies. Our dreams. They are all undoubtedly nestled in the palm of our own hands. Sure we are bound by responsibilities. Jobs, kids, life. But in spite of these things, we are not bound to a life without adventure. Without excitement. Without meaning.

It’s easy to think that we need to make a massive life change, do something on a grand scale, or have endless amounts of time and money to live out a dream or make a difference. But the reality is that we don’t. It just takes a bit of sacrifice, a bit of creative problem-solving. Because the clock is ticking. Whether we hear it or not. We are all only here for such a short time. And on my best days, when I am squarely in touch with the gravity that holds me here and holds me accountable to the choices that I make each day, I can see that each day is full of opportunities to make it count.


woman walking on beach, beach scene


Gina Graham is a photographer at lifelensandlove photography and writer of The Daily Bread Blog, which is ironically enough a weekly thing. For more information, check it all out at www.lifelensandlove.com

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