I never lived close to extended family growing up.

I was fortunate if I saw my grandparents once a year. My grandmother passed when I was 25. This means I saw her about 25 times in my life, and yet she had a massive impact on me. She knew how to take small amounts of time and create memories that matter.

How many times a year do you see a loved one? Let’s use a mother or grandmother, for example. If they live far away, that number may be small. Now think about how old that person is. Let’s use the age of 79. The average life expectancy in the United States for a female in 2021 is 82.65 years. If you only visit once a year, then you may only see that special person an average of 2.5 more times.

Even if they are much younger than our estimate, we never know how much time anyone will be here or how much time we will be here.

Looking at it this way, time becomes more important. Any time together becomes more important. How you use the time together becomes more important.

It makes me think about how I use time, how I waste time and how I allow time to slip away.

At the end of every year, we all say things like: How did the year go so fast? How can it be New Year’s already? Time flies!

Well, here we are looking right into 2022. Where did 2021 go?

Ten years ago, I gave up on New Year’s resolutions. They never worked for me, or maybe I never worked intently on them. So, I began picking a word for my year; a word I could concentrate on or a concept I would ponder and pay attention to for an entire year. For 2022 I have chosen “time.”

I want to be intentional about how I use my precious hours, minutes and days. I want to pay attention when I go down a rabbit hole on the internet and come out of it two hours later. I want to limit my scrolling time, scrolling screens of other people’s lives while taking time away from my own.

I want to pay attention to sleeping enough hours. I want to pay attention to allowing myself priority time to paint, sew, read, bake, sit in the sun, walk in the snow, enjoy a cup of coffee and do all the things I love to do.

I want to pay attention to my relationships and who I spend time with and why I spend time with them. Am I spending the most time with the people most important to my heart? If not, I want to change that.

I found a definition of time that reads: “Time can be defined as the ongoing and continuous sequence of events that occur in succession, from the past through the present to the future. Time is used to quantify, measure or compare the duration of events.”

That is what I want to do. I want to be mindful of my past, present and future. I want to measure the duration of my events and prioritize my time spent on them by the importance they bring to my life. I want to treat each visit with a loved one like the precious time it is, because we don’t know how many more visits we will have.

I want to make even small amounts of time a memory that matters.

Pennie’s Life Lesson: Make every moment of time a memory that matters.

Pennie Hunt is a Wyoming-based author, blogger and speaker. Contact her at penniehunt@gmail.com.