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The unseen power of the mighty clock and key

ayla whitehead

My mother began wearing clock and/or key pendants and bracelets when she was in her mid forties.   It was a strange thing for me to grasp.  She was a very stylish, strong willed,  business geared, never be seen in public with out her makeup and hair done type of woman who suddenly traded in her numerous broaches and pendants for small scale home decor and housewares on her neck.  It was so strange to me how much she liked her clocks and keys! I asked her one time if she was going through her mid-life crisis.  She said, "Seriously? No! I just really like the energy of the clock and the key".  Uhhhh....ok weird mom.  

She asked me what I think of when I hear the word "clock".

 What do you readers think of?  

Deadlines, running late, stress, too much to get done with too little time to do it...those were all of the things that I thought of.  Nothing that I would want hanging from my neck as a daily reminder that's for sure!  Take that thing off and burn it lol! 

My mother said to me:

"I have lived a life rising.  Had you when I was 18, changed direction in life at 22, spent years as a single mom working by day and attending school at night.  I spent years on the bottom wanting what I didn't have slowly working my way up. Finally, thirteen years of hard work later, and two grown girls, I became the Orthodontist I am today.  Time.  Now that I'm here, on top of where I wanted to be for all of those years I look down the mountain I climbed to see what all I lost in those years, what I should have done more of.    The little things matter.  The bed time stories I was sometimes too busy for, the back scratches I was too tired to do, the field trip chaperoning I didn't get to do,  the simple walks and bike rides that I could have done more of....all that time when you were little is lost.  I tried my best.   Now I realize that the time was more valuable than the money ever could have been.  Do I regret chasing my career? No, not at all, but I would have done some things differently.

The small things I took for granted I can not get back.  The clock only moves one way.  You must remember in your day to day living that the clock is always silently moving forward.  It feels slow while you are living it, but it really is fast as lightning.  The key to a meaningful life isn't how much you can accomplish in the span you call your life time, instead, it is all of the little things taken for granted in the day by day that truly give meaning to your life. 

The clock pendent is my reminder that the clock is always moving forward, you can't ever get today back, so live it to the best of your ability.  The key pendent is to remind me that they key to life is the simple things that sometimes are ignored, so cherish them with all of your heart.

It gave me chills.   Her explanation of a silly clock pendant and a key had a power over me that I can not put into words.  It opened my eyes and changed my life.   Now when I am in the middle of juggling cooking dinner, kids fighting, notifications of new orders going off, phone ringing, cows just got out, dog knocking the freshly folded laundry onto the dirty floor, bills staring at me to be done, praying for my husband to get home and HELP me, and I'm just about to break- I think of my mom.  The clock is moving forward.  How do I turn this craziness into an experience. Will my kids remember how I was always irritated and was always too busy for them or will they remember how fun I was...

 "Kids!- I need helpers! Lets play wild west hotel! Mason- a guest just dropped all of her clothes out of her suitcase by our couch, can you please go help her put them in her suitcase (aka laundry basket)?  Grace- there are five people waiting on their food in the restaurant- can you please stir the stew, watch the bread, and set the table? Layne- the phone is ringing- can you please answer it and see what the guest is needing? Me- check the new guest orders and see if we have any available rooms (aka get the new orders in the needs processing list and prioritize the bills real quick- its all paperwork- they didn't know the difference lol).

While I am doing my task I hear: 

Layne: I got the phone.  Its daddy! he says he is coming home now.  

Me: great son! what an amazing hotel phone answerer!

Grace: the food is ready ma'am! Would the guest like bowls and plates or just bowls?

Me: just bowls will be faster to wash, but if you think the guests would like plates under them we can do that too. (Then I turn off the stove and oven)

Mason: they are all in her suitcase, now what?

Me: Get your boots on- everyone get boots on!  A crazy towns person just let two of their cows out in the hotels yard!  I need helpers! (we have 5 cows and a calf who are all super tame.  You can pet every one of them and ride two of them- not putting my kids in danger here) Grace- man the gates.  Layne- hold the rope so we can tie up the hole.  Mason- Go tell Emma to get her hind end in the barn.  Momma is getting the feed.  Ok cow wrangler team- are we ready? Kids- YES!!!!  Me: OK, GO! 

It was a site to be seen.  One kid trying to fling the rope like a cowboy, one boy calling a cow like a dog to get it in the barn, my daughter laughing so hard she is crying because one cow is licking her at the gate, me pushing the cow my son was calling off of me because I now have a bucket of feed, and like clockwork we get the cows in, tie up the hole, and walk back up to the house.

My husband gets home as we are walking inside.  I am exhausted and was overwhelmed, but we did manage all of that craziness done. We all sit down to eat our beef stew and rolls at a table set with a large plate and a bowl accompanied by a large spoon and a small spoon so we could be fancy.  My kids were so excited, they are all three screaming at my husband how much fun playing hotel was.  Then they look at me and ask, "Momma, can we play hotel again tomorrow?"