Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Time: Friend or Foe?

Considering the fact that time is technically constant and consistent, our opinion of time itself varies greatly through the day, the week, our lives. More accurately, it's our perception of time that changes depending upon the circumstances. It's like the smartphone screenshot I have seen floating around Facebook showing the workday wake-up alarm set for 6am...with follow-up alarms at 6:10, 6:15, 6:20..... Next to it is the screenshot showing the 5am wake-up alarm for fishing..no backup necessary. We've all been there. Some mornings can't come fast enough while many others seem to come too soon.

The idea for this post occurred to me today at work where I have recently had a lot more work than time. Sure it's frustrating feeling the need to rush through things in a vain attempt to get everything done, but there is an upside. When you're doing three things at once, back to back all day long, time really flies. That in itself has a good and a bad side to it. On one hand your day seems to end too fast because you still have so much to do. On the other hand, your days fly by in the blink of an eye.

I remember another affect a job has had on time for me in the past. Back in my days of tree work in Texas, I experienced two extremes. The first you may have heard expressed as "more time than money." The tree business in Texas takes a little hit when the rainy season (called winter in more northern states) hits. There may be 3-4 days in a row that you don't work because the weather wasn't conducive to climbing trees. During that week, you had all kinds of time to kill, but no money to spend to do anything. On the flip side, when storm season rolled through, we would work every possible minute of daylight just trying to keep up. You were making money hand over fist, but you didn't really have the time (or energy for that matter) to spend any of it.

You will find similar "perceptive disparities" when looking at larger blocks of time. High school would be a good example. When you're in your mid-teens, all you want to do is graduate, become and adult, be independent and take on the world. Because of that (for me anyway), high school seemed to drag on forever. Looking back at it now, it seems like the blink of an eye. Technically it was almost a tenth of my life, but looking back it seems like months. I feel I was your typical teen - trying to speed up time and get to the next stage.

I see that now as a parent too. When you have your first kid, your want to rush through the stages. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Roll over. Sit up. Stand. Walk. Talk.... Next thing you know, you have a kids that's running, screaming and therefore making you run. All you can think is, where did time go? Why was I in such a rush to get past the "watch them sleep" stage? As a parent, I realize what other parents have said all along about how you'll blink and time will pass you by. Those of you with kids understand what I'm saying. Sometimes I think you could almost measure time by how many times your kids can wear an outfit before they outgrow it.

Time, no matter how quickly it flies by, generates a lifetime of memories. Enjoy the time you have. If you rush through life, you'll be less likely to actually remember those memories you're making. Another very important aspect is that you never know when your time is up. I don't mean to close this out on a seemingly depressing note, but that's the way it is for many. They rush through life battling the clock and before they know it people will be gone from their lives. Whether it's because of death, neglect or just everyday circumstances, you will quickly find yourself wondering where time (and life) went while you were rushing through it. Slow down and enjoy your life, family and friends a bit. Speaking of time, it's getting late and it's time for me to stop rambling. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Until next time....