The Power of Time

I am a big fan of Professor Phil Zimbardo (check out his book The Lucifer Effect).

Thought of adoption as I watched this video of his about The Power of Time.  How do you spend your time? Being past or present oriented?

How much of your present time are you spending thinking about your past? Meaning, how much time do you lose today with your loved ones thinking about your adoption experience? I am not judging anyone, nor suggesting an appropriate amount of time (I, for one, spent WAY too much time in today thinking about yesterday and what coulda, shoulda, woulda and while I did that, my sons grew in front of me, my marriage crumbled and more).

Interesting to think about. Well, for me, at least.

Click the image below  to be taken to the YouTube video. Stop back if you have some thoughts/comments on it.

4 Thoughts.

  1. I have spent a great deal of my life looking backwards, trying to learn and understand the events in my life, both “good” and “bad”, that have shaped me. I feel it is important to strike a balance between the past, future, and the present.

    IMO, all three are necessary. The past teaches us many lessons, we need experience to grow into our lives. The future gives us something to work towards, a template for setting goals and hope for better days ahead. The present, for me, is the trickiest.

    I strive to enjoy the present moment in my life, because I’ve missed so much by living unconsciously, just existing, trying to make it through each day while carrying what felt like and enormous sense of pain and loss, and not knowing what to do with that pain and loss.

    It is tricky, this staying in the present. I use my breath as an anchor to draw me back to what I am doing, whether it is cleaning the litter box or visiting with a friend. Of course, I believe one can contemplate the past or the future and “be” in the present moment learning or planning or contemplating.

    The tricky part for me, is not getting lost in my contemplation or so immobilized by the pain or loss that I have experienced and am contemplating, that a decade passes me by in what seems to be a blink of the eye. I did this after I placed my son and daughter for adoption.

    Reunion has allowed me to move forward into the present.

    • The tricky part for me, is not getting lost in my contemplation or so immobilized by the pain or loss that I have experienced and am contemplating, that a decade passes me by in what seems to be a blink of the eye.

      Liz – This is EXACTLY what I am talking about when I state how I spent too much time in the wrong place. The years leading up to reunion and even those few after (I am heading into year six) were way out of balance for me. Far, far too much time spent focused on my daughter, reunion, etc. and not enough on my life at that time.

      I do believe we need a balance of past present and future.

      Those that do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. This has proven so true in mamy aspects of my life. For example, looking at my failed marriage, who I was then, why, how, etc. has helped immensely in improvement my current relationship.

  2. I became obsessed with trying to make my reunions work, to the exclusion of everything and everyone, myself included. It is only now, after I have been banished, that I am able to let it go somewhat. I am starting to see parts of myself reappear that I haven’t seen for a few years, and I am grateful to awake from my obsession and have friends, and my husband, I love him so much,that are still standing by me in spite of the madness.

    I am finding a stronger woman now,free,at least, from the worry of not knowing how my children fared in their adopted life. I know now that they are fine, not without issues, but no one, adopted or not, escapes that. Certainly, there are people in this world who have suffered far worse fates than adoption and its consequences. I don’t mean to invalidate or marginalize the suffering caused by adoption, but I do try to keep it in perspective. At least, in G & J’s case, though their parents are not open minded toward me, they love my children and took very good care of them. They are doing okay in their lives, and they have the safety net of their family, which I never had.

    • Liz – Your experience largely mirrors mine, as does you outlook today. I dont think I was obsessed with making it work (since it really never did from the beginning) but I was obsessed with being bigger, better, smarter, wiser, with the hope that something I would do/could do would make things change. If I wrote less, wrote more, asked this question, not that question, sent this gift, did not send this gift, blah, blah blah.

      Nothing worked and nothing I did mattered. It took me sometime to realize that I had no power in the reunion and it could only happen – to any degree – if my daughter wanted it. She does not. So like you, I learned to let go a bit, move on, lessen expectations and rediscovered ME without HER and without adoption.

      I found wonderful things.

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