It’s finally come around. Today is the first anniversary of the death of my Father. He passed away from pulmonary fibrosis in hospital last August, while my Mother and one of my sisters sat next to him.

So today the whole family, all four generations of us, went to lunch at his favourite Spanish restaurant and had a tapas lunch, which was one of his favourite meals. We took a picture of him with us to put on the table, and a hat of his that we placed at the head of the table. The owner of the restaurant gave us a couple of bottles of cava (the Spanish equivalent of champagne) on the house to toast him. She was quite teary when we asked her to join in.

Of course, it doesn’t mean we miss him any less, but we did remember good and funny times with him. For instance, there was the time he was dancing at a party with the owner of the restaurant (the same lady) and turned around. Unfortunately, his rubber-soled shoe didn’t, and he nearly ended up flat on the floor. Or the way he used to go with my brother-in-law and me down to the harbour at the beginning of the holidays to have beer and oysters, just to confirm that we were on holiday together.

We made sure that we ordered all his favourite dishes (especially oysters and beer!), and enjoyed them while thinking of him. We honoured his memory and his life and, apart from some teary eyes (mine included), we enjoyed ourselves.

But it all got me thinking about a form of time I haven’t discussed yet. (Oh no, I hear you groaning, he’s not talking about Time again, is he? Yes I am.) This time, I want to talk about circular time; time that recurs and comes back again and again.

Even if we don’t think about it, circular time is a major part of our lives. Spring becomes summer, which turns into autumn (fall for you Americans) and finally winter, until spring returns. Or New Year is followed by Lent, Easter, Whitsun, Mid-Summer, Christmas and back to the beginning of the next year. Our birthdays recur on a regular basis, reminding us that every turn of the circle is, at the same time, part of a linear progression into the future.

It is this last that makes me realise that circular time is perhaps a misnomer. Perhaps we should be calling it Spiral Time, or more correctly, Helical Time, since spirals are technically ever-increasing in diameter.

It’s not just seasons or birthdays that are recurring events, though. Even more are the habits and behaviours that occur time and again in our lives, causing happiness or despair. These are the most subtle kind, because we often don’t realise that they are recurring. Only once we’re in the middle of the situations do we suddenly think: this has all happened to me before.

Of course, if it’s something good, then we’re glad it’s happening again. But, given the propensity of the human race to self-destructive and negative behaviour patterns and beliefs, it’s far more likely that these are not things we enjoy re-experiencing.

Isn’t it time (in the non-recurring sense of the word) to be doing something to break those patterns and beliefs and make our lives more satisfying and enjoyable?

Of course it is. And the only time we can make those changes is now. I can’t alter what I’ve done in the past, and what I do in the future depends on what I’m doing right now. As soon as I’ve posted this, I’m going to read a few pages of Dr Joe Vitale’s book Expect Miracles, which is back-to-back with his other book Faith as part of Faith/Expect Miracles 2-In-1 Book. Then I’m going to have a siesta because the temperature is 31ºC, while thinking about what I’ve just read. After that, I’ll start implementing whatever I think is necessary to get me closer to my dreams.

If you find you’re living too much in circular time, experiencing things you don’t want or are boring, go out and start making some progress towards your dreams and goals, and experience some linear time and progress.

I miss you, Fatherli.

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