By Devin Harrington, Communications Specialist

There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 525,600 minutes in a year. These are realities of life…facts that we cannot change. We have no control over how fast or slow time moves. We do, however, have control over what we do with our precious time.

After the loss of my grandfather three weeks ago, I have taken a fair amount of time (no pun intended) to reflect on this. My grandfather, Donald Waters, was 82 years old, and I know, without a doubt, that he made the most of his time with us. In order to better raise his six children, he left a career in law to work for the Newark Star Ledger (for almost 40 years). Because of the sacrifices he made early on in his own career, my grandfather was able to spend countless hours in his basement “art studio” with us grandchildren, whom he considered his 19(!!) best friends. Gramps, as we called him, knew exactly how and where he was going to spend the time he had. Yes, I am sad that I will never again have a drink with him (which he would have to sneak from my grandmother) or laugh at him “firmly reminding” one of my younger cousins to behave. Yet, I am also tremendously grateful to have spent most of my 27 years with him, knowing that he is in the best place possible with no regrets with the time he was granted.

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My grandfather’s cellar/”art studio”

Taking from his example, I wonder whether or not I am spending my time in ways that are best for me. Are my priorities right? Should I be doing more? These are some of the questions many of us ask ourselves from time to time, but that may be as far as we take it. While easier said than done, our focus should shift to actually answering these questions and putting our answers into action. My grandfather found ways to do it. Hopefully, I can be half as resourceful with the time I have left.

When I think about the two and a half years I have spent at Hammer, I believe I have made good use of my time thus far. I began my career by working in group homes – where our most important work has always been done. After roughly two years as an Assistant Program Manager and then Program Manager, I decided it was time for a new career challenge (preferably with Hammer). The Communications Specialist position opened, I applied and am now happily adjusting to this new role and the opportunities it will present. As Hammer’s Communications Specialist, I will lead social networking strategies across platforms to raise awareness and support fundraising. Additionally, I am responsible for researching and sharing opportunities to engage new partners in our mission and goals. I will be able to grow professionally at an amazing organization while also personally building skills and experiences that will help me in my future. All in all, I could not think of a better way to spend my time!

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Me at Reach for Ralph 2013

I know I have a long way to go with balancing my time/priorities/etc., but I feel I have got it right with Hammer, at least. I need only to look at the life of my grandfather when I want a guide to a life well lived. Although, his time was up, the example he set will last my lifetime. I am forever grateful.

We at Hammer Residences would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May your holiday season be filled with the love and joy of family and friends.

We look forward to sharing more with all of you in 2014! If you have a story you would like us to consider, please reach out to me at devin@hammer.org