Timekeepers. To keep feels different than to hold, doesn't it? To hold sounds protective, nurturing, but also with a bit of freedom. I want to hold your hand is different than I want to keep your hand. What if the Beatles had sang that? Ooof. Weird for sure. Yet we refer to things that measure time as timekeepers rather than timeholders. Perhaps because time really is kept. We don't get it back. Pandemic or not. It all counts. It is all kept. Hard truth.

When I was a practicing psychotherapist, I functioned as a timekeeper for my patients for an hour a week. Sessions started at a certain time and 50 minutes later they were over. Regardless if the patient was late or early. Said a word or talked nonstop the whole session. It takes a while to get used to saying to someone in mid sentence, "We have to stop for now. We can continue this next week." Ooof. Who wants to hear that? To start, I didn't want to be the one to say that. But it gets easier, like most things practiced. And after a while I began to see the significance of providing that important boundary. That time together was different from the other hours spent during the week and it was important to honor that.

Boundaries are important. Like, super important. They are hard to enforce. Like, super hard. Most people are really bad at creating them. Like, super bad. But that's okay. Like anything else, setting firm boundaries requires practice and skill building. When I think about time from the perspective of a boundary, everything changes. The keeping of time becomes a boundary. One that is extended to us by the hours that are kept in order to promote change and growth. If time were held and not kept, I am convinced we would dissolve from the lack of boundary. What if we could go back? How often would we get stuck? How would we ever move forward? Grow? Change? Evolve? So many questions. I guess in the end, I am thankful for these timekeepers. Being able to watch the sand trickle through the shaped glass. A reminder that what is kept is different from what lies ahead. And it is important to honor that.

What did you learn today? Join me by using the #thesethreethings and commenting below with your own These Three Things. I want to hear what you are learning, laughing about, and living through.