This morning after waking, I remained cocooned in the comfort of my warm, cozy blankets for a while but grabbed my Blackberry from its bedside perch and scrolled through Facebook. You never know what important news may be missed during one’s time of slumber.

“Every second is a chance to turn your life around.”

The image practically leapt from my newsfeed. The quote was written in white type and set against a midnight blue sky, rife with thousands of stars. Dark silhouettes of trees punctuated the horizon.

I thought about it for a moment while my ears instantly perked up, tuning into my small clock tick-tocking the seconds away.

Beyond turning your life around, every second is a chance to do a lot of things: something new, something old that you’ve enjoyed doing before, something kind for a loved one, something kind for yourself.

The clock’s mechanics turned numeric: …thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one…  

I was still in bed, and still thinking. It felt as though the clock was radiating impatience. Toward me. For wanting to be cozy. Such nerve.

Not in the mood for judgment at such an hour, I extricated myself from the bedroom and wandered into the living room for my usual Saturday morning ritual: coffee and cooking shows. Somewhere between learning how to make a croquembouche and profiteroles, the clock on the wall got in on the action. But its sounds were of a different kind.

They continued the theme of impatience, but took on a child-like quality, the way a parent might hear, “Are we there yet?” during a roadtrip. Or maybe just a trip to the corner store.

My eyes were fixed on the TV and the French pastry tower which was barely in-frame. Sing-songy descriptions about its stature and sugary threads were mesmerizing me as the seconds, barely audible, ticked by.





No longer was the clock mechanic, it was speaking to me. I wasn’t quite sure what Father Time was nudging me to do, so I tried to tune him out.

I did a load of laundry, made some breakfast to accompany the coffee and put the remainder of Christmas away which — until this morning — had taken up residence on my dining room table.

After getting ready, I headed out to my nail appointment. Small talk filled the hour, and I learned from June that her daughter liked to sing. I also learned that she used to not sing very well, but this year, she’d apparently become better with practice.

There was a lull in the appointment, and we both sat in silence. Somewhere between my nails being filed and the first coat of my gels being applied, I noticed that a small clock on the wall was ticking ever so quietly.





My thoughts turned back to her daughter — the young girl with a love for singing. The clock still tick-tocked quietly. And then I remembered that I had downloaded four volumes of voice lessons from iTunes just a few months ago.

I told June they were very good, and even came with a lesson on proper breathing which helps with voice projection.

Yes, now.

I thought for a moment. “May I make you a copy to give to her?” I asked. Her eyes lit up and I received an excited, “Yes!”

We talked a little more about the lessons, my gels finished baking in their mini-ovens, and my appointment eventually came to a close.

On my drive home I thought about the quote again, and realized that the voice lesson CDs I offered to copy may not turn her daughter’s life “around,” but they certainly could inspire her to take a different path. And isn’t inspiration what it’s all about?

Even if they’re passed on from her daughter to a friend, they’ll eventually find their way into the hands of the person who most needs them. Of this I am confident.

Today I am thankful for the gentle push a ticking clock gives us. It reminds us that there’s no rewind, no do-over, no way of going in reverse. Now is the time to do something. Anything. No matter how big or how small.

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