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Time is the greatest gift we offer

Last week Lynnda and I were at the Outer Banks in North Carolina with family. Our grandson, Cole from Florida flew up to spend the week with us and his father, our oldest son. Cole is a sophomore in high school. His parents have been divorced for some time. We regularly talk, but because of the distance we only get to see Cole once or twice a year. Divorce complicates life. We are grateful for the time we get to spend with him.

Cole plays high school soccer. He told me to be sure and bring a soccer ball. We kicked the ball around and I showed him some of the two-player skill drills we do. We swam (indoor) and caught football. He tried running with Dannielle and I which didn’t work out well for Cole. He has long legs and runs high school cross country. Because he runs twice as fast as me, Cole had to do a fast walk to keep from running away from us. He loved playing games with the family and just sitting in the hot tub talking to his Dad. For Cole it wasn’t about going out or getting stuff. Like any teenager he spent some time on his phone but not much during the day when everyone was awake. For all of us including Cole, it was about time spent together.

Time is the great equalizer. Everyone gets 24 hours in a day. It is how we spend those 24 hours each day that makes the difference in our lives. What we do in our 24 hours each day determines our health, wealth and relationships. We can save money. We can’t save time. The clock is always running. Children grow up. Go off to college and get married. Friends move. People get transferred. Health changes. People age and die. The greatest gift we can give anyone is our time. Lynnda and I enjoyed a glass of wine and watched the sun set over the sound several evenings. It was our special one on one time.

Next weekend we will be in Kiawah, S.C. Dannielle and I will run the half-marathon for which we have spent months training. We did our last long training run of 12 miles on Thanksgiving morning and talked for the entire 2 1/2 hours while we ran. It is a blessing to have that much one on one time with Dannielle who lives 7 hours away.

This is a good time to look back on the year. Did you accomplish everything you wanted? Did you spend your time and treasure on what was important? One way to check is to review your check book or credit card statements. Where did your treasure go this year? Did it all go to essentials? Did you spend any money on vacation? What charities did you support? Where did you spend your time this past year? Are you fulfilling your purpose? Are you using your talents to make a positive difference?

Time isn’t just about family and friends. Much of our time is spent at a job or a career. Are we making the most of this time to make a difference? Sometimes it is little things. I remember my wife by my side going into surgery and being there when I woke up. I remember the people who came to see me in the hospital or reached out in other ways. There is something about having people reach out to say they care that raised my spirits especially when I was down. After Lynnda’s car accident almost 10 years ago, I watched her go from sad and depressed to upbeat and positive when an old friend from out of state unexpectedly called to see how she was doing. That phone call was better than any drug a doctor could have given her.

We are still struggling with supply chain issues and labor shortages. Some of the Christmas gifts people were expecting or planning to give may be stuck on a container ship and not arrive until 2022. This week I received another email telling me part of our soccer team order from the first week of August has finally been shipped. They can’t tell me when it will arrive from China.

Eventually we will solve our supply chain problems by manufacturing products in the U.S. that are currently being imported. We have skilled labor, advanced manufacturing technology, energy, feedstock (from our abundant natural gas and oil) and markets that don’t require ocean shipping. Americans regardless of political affiliation want to see manufacturing and high wage jobs come back to the U.S. Companies are responding. In northwest Ohio, Peloton is building it’s first U.S. manufacturing facility, where their raw materials and customers are both located. At Shale Crescent USA, we know others will follow when they understand the cost advantages they have over companies located in China. Regional companies are pivoting and expanding. Foreign companies see advantages of manufacturing where their customers are.

This won’t solve our supply chain problems this year. Can we substitute gifts of ourselves and our time? It is easy to get caught up in the stress and hustle forgetting the reason for the season. The holiday season is about giving. It is a time of sharing love and putting others first. Dannielle told us our gift from her and her husband is a long weekend with them at one of their favorite places. We will be spending time together. Last year we got a beautiful quilt a friend made for us. Lynnda will be getting a puzzle and my time to help put it together.

This may be the perfect year to give creative gifts of ourselves and our time instead of, or in addition to traditional gifts. Share your love and the gift your time. It will be unique and memorable. Toys break. Clothes wear out. Holiday memories last forever. Thoughts to ponder.

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Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. www.shalecrescentusa.com He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering with over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert, soccer coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.

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