I’ve been thinking a lot lately about time. It’s a very relative thing. Sometimes it seems to fly by in an instant, and others it just drags on and on. We are always conscious of it, it seems. We have routines based on the clock and the calendar. We live by the clock and calendar. Time has become way too important in our lives, I think.
We have to get up at a certain time in order to get ready to go to work or school, or start the day’s activities. We watch the clock as we get ready, making sure we area on time. Once we’re into our day’s work, we watch the clock constantly. Waiting for the class to be over. Waiting for lunch break. Waiting for the next appointment. Waiting for the day to be over.
Then we start thinking about bedtime. How much more time is left before the day ends? How late can we stay up without paying for it tomorrow? How can we best use our “free” time? How many hours of sleep do we need? Is sleep a waste of our time, or necessary to carry on? Then, all too soon, it’s time for the alarm to wake us once again.
And we work our way through each week, counting off the days. Is it still only Monday? Is it hump day yet? How long until Friday? We can’t wait for the weekend to arrive, but then the weekend flies by and we are back to work again, feeling like we never had a weekend.
Shall we talk about months, and even years? How long until Christmas? Only two months until Spring Break! Next summer I’m going to Europe! Only 3 years until retirement!
We want to live in the moment, but we are always planning and looking forward to (or dreading) the next chunk of time. As a cancer survivor, I find myself wanting to quickly add on the weeks, months and years that I’ve ticked off since diagnosis. But at the same time, I want to enjoy every day, and don’t want my life to fly by. We all seem to be able to wish time away, and desperately hang onto it at the same time. So, if time is relative, and seems to pass at different paces, have we mastered time travel, of sorts?