“If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.” – Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849)

“I want to be like you when I retire.”

This was said to me by the Megabus driver as I waited leisurely for my cousin’s bus to depart. To be honest I was not retired, just on a long bereavement break. It was messy. Well, she had gotten everyone on board and was taking a break. I was sitting on the bench near the bus. I have learned to own space as well as the time that I occupy. You may ask, “How, what or why?”

Years prior I caught a glimpse at how one can own time and space by an early morning walk through Piedmont Park in Atlanta. It was a Monday. I know this. Museums are always closed that day and I had to find other diversion before I flew back to Jacksonville. I walked through the park. It was a cold grey morning, no one was about. A distance away I came across a woman lounging on a park bench. She was clad in layers of clothing and a leather jacket. Her back was to one arm rest, while her out stretched legs were propped upon her bag. She was reading a book. Lounging.

There are those instances in your life, though brief, can burn an indelible mark upon your memory. This was that instance. From my observation she owned this park bench. There was an easy command to her presence. She was intent on reading. She owned her space and time.

Over the years I have replayed this scene. During stressful times, I found peace in that event, of walking upon this woman in the park. Then one day, I became the woman in the park. I was impacted by the difficult emotions of death. Thrust into a no man’s land of neither the living or the dead. I remembered this woman and her presence. I took to occupying outdoor spaces.

Just sitting on a bench is only part of the equation. You need to be aware of your space and time. Take in the surroundings. Be present. Feel yourself in the moment. Sink in and become part of the scene. You will over time notice a shift in yourself. Our ancestors became part of their environment. Their lives depended upon it. Be the kind of person who practices patience in the outdoors.

I am adding a segment to owning time and space and that is seeing people.  Really acknowledge those around you. A quantum physics theory points out that we are all connected. A connection with those around us can be quite beneficial to our overall health, mentally and physically.  I would add seeing pets as well,  as science proves stroking or petting an animal will lower your blood pressure.

Owning your space and time does not need to take long. It is the coffee break in the mid morning or your lunch. Don’t wait until retirement to practice this wonderful mind shift.