Making the Minutes Count

Dear Flint Hill School Families,

As Spring Break approaches, I find myself thinking about the concept of time. It is time for our break. It is time for spring to finally arrive. It is time to get outside more often. And it is time to get some rest and relaxation after an incredibly busy and hectic winter season.

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, what is time? If you ever noticed, the word “time” can fit into almost every sentence. And its concept truly dominates everything we do in our daily lives. As we approach Spring Break, I am sure some of us are stopping to reflect about how quickly time has raced by this year. It is hard to believe that we are at this point in the year! We met with Seniors at the annual Fiesta Dinner on Monday evening. On that evening, we touched on several topics, including how limited their time is at Flint Hill and how quickly the years seemed to have flown since the Class of 2016’s Freshman Fiesta Dinner. We also addressed the importance of using that time well as we approach Commencement and the exciting adventures that are ahead of them. Yesterday, we took time to recognize Upper School Winter Sports during Town Meeting, bringing that season to a very successful conclusion. Once again, it all comes down to time. We heard again and again from coaches about the time students have put into their practices and the time it has taken to grow the programs to be the best that they can be.

We also realize that time is precious. During my youth, time seemed to drag on forever, and yet, there were other moments when I felt like time had absolutely raced by me! Time becomes a dominant word to explain why we have done or haven’t done anything. We either run out of time, or we need to make time to do something.

Time is also a key component in our relationships and with our families. On a personal note, I and my family focused our time over the past two weeks on supporting my father as his health suddenly declined. At 92-years old, he had plenty of time in his life, and we thought he had plenty of time ahead. He was a hard worker and had a great life. He was one of the most humble people I have ever met. He was a model example of the “Greatest Generation,” as noted by Tom Brokaw. One of my fondest memories of him is that he always had time for us as a family and was absolutely devoted to my mother while she was alive. Their 60-years of marriage was a true testament of time, commitment and the devotion they had for each other. We were blessed to have time with him through his last days, whether at the hospital or at hospice. Our time together was special and well worth the celebration of his life during his funeral. Over the weekend, we spent time with our immediate family remembering, laughing and joking about the times we spent together in the past, and how much he had meant to everyone. To hear his grandchildren and even his four-year old great-grandchildren talk about him with love and care was powerful and heartwarming. We wish we had spent more time with him. We wish we had made the time to fly him — while he was alive — to California to visit our two boys who live there. We wish we had more time to talk him into using a cane or a walker that he kept refusing to use. All of those conversations led back to the concept of time. And please, let me add my warmest thanks to everyone who learned about our loss and took the time to write a note, travel to the funeral, or just share a prayer or kind wishes for us. Our School family is amazing, and we felt the warmth of it right at the time we needed it. Those gestures are irreplaceable and precious.

As we prepare to go on Spring Break, I hope we all try and get control of our time. Please make sure we do things that are family-focused, fun and relaxing. I hope we will all use our time to focus on our loved ones. Please call your parents and tell them you love them. Please take the time to put work aside and focus on family first.

I hope we also include activities that get us rested and ready to finish the last phase of the school year. Before you know it, you will notice how quickly time has raced by once we start talking about Closing Ceremonies, Commencement and summer!  And then we will be talking about how quickly summer seems to get by us and that we are facing a new school year, adventures and experiences!

While time is the constant, we do know and appreciate how it is moving. So let’s do everything in our power to make each minute count, each relationship stronger, and value the fact that time can and should be our “friend” as we move forward. Have a great time over Spring Break! I look forward to seeing everyone as we return.
Best wishes to you!

Sincerely,

John M. Thomas
Headmaster