One Hundred Years From Now

As long as there’s a today, there’s time.

This was my response to my daughter after she looked at me; eyes filled with tears and said,

“We’re running out of time.”

I felt like such a hypocrite. The advice and discussion we had next was about making time and was just as much for me as it was for her. Time was the emotional straw on the weary camel’s back. After weeks of trekking to Target, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Apple, you name the store, we could’ve been mayors. If only we checked in. But we were busy checking the final boxes off the “Official Guide for Incoming Freshman” — time was not on it.

We wished for super powers to stop time. Just for a while, just for us. I’d let the 24/7 world be. She’d cancel her plans and we’d collapse in our Illinois gear to watch “LOST” re-runs. Maybe Faraday could conjure up a formula that would prevent her from leaving home and me from joining another milestone club before year-end.

But the super powers were never granted. Time did not stop and the world kept on spinning. The deadline came and she was ready. When we arrived at the dorm it was such an incredible feeling to see her gleaming with excitement.  I admit I was ready too but I’d be lying if I didn’t also admit that my emotions were scrambled beyond description. But I somehow maintained focus on all the good stuff and when it came time for goodbyes, I walked away with the memory of adventure in her eyes.

Against the Clock

Working Against the Clock

The Value of Time and Social Space

You could say I’ve paused more than once to reflect on our life-changing events throughout the year.  If you noticed the subtle rebellion against social media above – it’s because I wanted more time. As both an advocate and recovering addict of the space, I know all too well how much time can be spent and the cost it can carry.

I don’t care if you’re a newbie, early adopter or veteran pro, 2.0 demands time, focus and energy to multitask through panels and channels of updates, replies, DMs, chats, #searches, lists, readers, blogs, docs, apps, add-ons, posts, postscript, vids, comments, bots and analytics – all before 7am.

Multitasking is accelerated to power-tasking and when the day is done, recaps need to be streamed (never while driving of course), the homeward bound tweet what’s for dinner, twitpics of the latest are uploaded and then time to head off for some R&R — with the laptop. If dining out is on the agenda, you’ve got a badge to unlock and upload to the nearest satellite waiting to gobble up the exabytes. Sleep? It’s overrated, oh, but please do check to see if any humans in your life need you and remember to look for any pets you thought you owned.

What I’m trying to say is: take a break if you need it. If you ever find yourself worrying whether or not your friends will be there for you when you return, re-examine those titles. I’ve been lucky enough to have met and developed a wonderful network of friends I care deeply for yet, I have the highest respect for those who maintain, appreciate and value time spent in real life.

One Hundred Years From Now

It won’t matter how many followers I had on Twitter,

The influence of my social graph, or the conversations made from SEO.

It won’t matter what my avatar looked like, how many likes I received on

Facebook or if I achieved LION status on LinkedIN.

It might matter however, if I chose to spend time in the real world every now and then,

Making a difference in the life of a child, friend, family member or complete stranger.

♫ 100 Years / The Battle for Everything / Five for Fighting  ♫

About the Author

Charee Klimek

Charee Klimek is a passionate consultant and founder of Vocii. Her mission is to help companies’ brand from the inside out by focusing on culture, employee experience and behaviors. An ambitious change agent, she’s partnered with HR leaders at Fortune 500’s for 17 years impacting all facets of the employer brand & employee life cycle. She blogs at Vocii and TalentCulture, and tweets regularly as @chareeklimek.

13 Comments

Debbie Brown

Bravo! great post- days and weeks go by- as I see my son grow and grow and grow- the song in my head that I hear is Turnaround- (Turnaround he’s 2, Turnaround, he’s 4, Turnaround he’s a young man walking out of the door- ) its a beautiful and heart wrenching song- and makes me think about how fast time goes-

everyone will be here when we get back-

breaks are so important- as 100 years from now….all new people.

Reply
Charee Klimek

Jen,

I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to make you cry. But I do understand and know exactly what you’re feeling.

If I can can give you advice from someone who’s been there. Step away more often. You’ll be so very glad you did.

The tears come to my eyes when I think back and regret the moments I wish I did just that.

Our elders are wise “Cherish the moments with your kids while you can. Time goes by way too fast and before you know it, they’re going to leave this nest.”

The good news, they will always need and want us in their lives (even during the moments it feels like they don’t)

Thank you for commenting and you’re welcome – I hope sharing the experience does help =)

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Charee Klimek

Now you’ve got me singing Mike 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

We all want the same thing if you really stop & think about it.

To everything
There is a season
And a time for every purpose.

Reply
Charee Klimek

Hi Steve!
Yeah, it’s funny how life just automatically triggers those balance reminders for us. I’m thankful as well!

Connect. Don’t Collect.

I think you’ve got something here Steve. That’s a KEEPER!

Thanks for the well wishes for my girl. Exciting times indeed.

~c

Reply
Charee Klimek

Meghan!
Thanks for the well wishes for B. She’s doing great, the first week a success and even I’m OK! We continue to cherish the moments – they’ve become digital moments (see any irony in this?).

You said it best: “Cherish the moments. Take breaks. Go with the flow. Find the right balance.

Cheers!

Reply
Charee Klimek

Hi John!
Thanks for the kind words about the post. You’re a shining example of one of the great friends I’ve met through Twitter.

It’s difficult to describe the level of trust that can be established online isn’t it? Then when you meet in real life, you know so much about each other. It’s amazing and the best tool for growing friendships and relationships I’ve ever encountered. Love it.

So what I should be stating here is: It’s not the tool (well, not completely), it’s an individual conscious effort and awareness level that needs to be maintained. That for me is the struggle. Some weeks good, some not so good.

I’ll take the good, learn (again) from bad and just keep at it. =)

Reply
Charee Klimek

Hey Kimberly, thanks for reading and commenting.

I agree with you on the timing and for some it’s already come and gone. I’ve been talking to several people recently who are just burned out and yearning for down time in real life to let their brains relax. But they won’t take it out of concern for losing status, losing ground, losing “friends”. I hope this someone’s doing a psychological study on the effects this has on people, families, etc. If not, someone needs a grant for it!

Now, that said, they’re the Kettle and I’m the Pot, and still feeling like a hypocrite. It’s so deeply integrated into my life that it’s incredibly difficult to be OK with the distance. For example, the past week I’ve been buried in client research. Meetings, phone calls, surveys, reports, follow up, and I just don’t have time but I still feel guilty for not checking in – even when I physically can not.

And then there’s Skype… Never loved it as much as I do now. I’d be crazy missing my daughter if it weren’t for Skype. We video chat every night. So look how the dynamics for using the tools are changing again…

=)

Reply
Jen Turi

Charee,

Great post although I admit I teared up – just like I do whenever I hear that song. My girls are 8 and 9 and I always think I should step away and spend more time. Then summer ends and they are back to school and I didn’t do it. I can’t even THINK about feeling this way when childhood is over and they go away to school. SM is great and it’s a lot of fun but it can’t replace human interaction. Time for me to make some changes and this might be the article that helps me DO it instead of just thinking I NEED to do it. Thanks again!

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Steve Browne

Charee – Always love to get reminders about balance !! Thanks for that. Have to agree with the other comments posted.

Things are changing rapidly and I’m thankful that people are starting to really connect with folks instead of collecting them.

Congrats on the new freshman !! Exciting times.

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Meghan M. Biro

Charee, so exciting for you and B. New beginnings, new priorities. This is such an important post! I agree wholeheartedly. Cherish the moments. Take breaks. Go with the flow. And find the right balance. I’m on a similar tack. Cheers to the Women of HR 🙂

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John Jorgensen

I agree with Kim, great post. I might even move her statement about 5 years to less than that. A little over a year ago, I had no clue about social media and since then I have been changed so much by it and have met so many inspiring people. I hope the next year is just as great.

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Kimberly Roden

Charee, your post is spot on. I would even go as far as to say 5 years from now it won’t matter. Lives and people can change so dramatically whether they’re planned changes or not. At the end of the day, did HOW we spend our time have meaning? When we can look in the mirror and answer that question honestly, we’ll know.

For the record, I enjoy taking not just a social media break but a 100% computer break every weekend. It’s rejuvenating for me

Reply

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