In Search of Time
What is it about time that has us all in such a state? We are always running out of it or have too much of it on our hands. Often time seems to fly or it can drag on and on.
I like to read about all the changes in sciences perception of time. First they say that time is speeding up; then they say it’s slowing down. I’ve been reading a rather lengthy article on Wired Science by Sean Carroll to try to understand time a bit better. He has a theoretical physicists’ approach to understanding time. Here is a tiny excerpt._
The past is different from the future. We remember the past but we don’t remember the future. There are irreversible processes. There are things that happen, like you turn an egg into an omelet, but you can’t turn an omelet into an egg.
It’s called entropy.
What I want to understand is why time slows down when you are waiting to get well but speeds up when you are in the company of great friends. I always have a long list of things to do which only gets longer as I check things off that list but I run out of time to get them done. If I’m looking forward to an event, time drags on till that moment finally gets there. Then miraculously the event is over before you can blink an eye. It’s like Christmas when we were kids versus Christmas when we are parents.
This year is supposed to be the end of time according to the Mayan calendar. How is that going to work? Maybe time will just seem different. I’m not too worried about it since I’m always running out of time anyway.
When I was raising kids, I would swear that I needed a 48 hour day. Then, while I was working in my office with not enough work to keep me looking busy, that day would feel 48 hours long. I kept checking the clock but for hours on end, it just didn’t move.
Time is the most precious commodity we as humans have. Animals do not care about time. I haven’t seen even one wearing a watch or checking the clock. I first became aware of the time crunch when my mother moved into her manufactured home next door to me. I was aware on some level that her illness was terminal. Pulmonary Fibrosis, also known as Interstitial Lung Disease, has according to the internet, a two-five year life expectancy. We didn’t know how long she’d had it before they diagnosed it. I spent every minute I could with her during that year while still trying to give her the autonomy she desired. Then they found a tumor under her ribs and let her know it was there. She was gone in seven days and I was rocked to my foundation. I wanted more time with her.
The following year I was diagnosed with the same illness that took my mother’s life. It showed up on the x-rays. That’s when time became something to be truly passionate about. I wanted more time and by gosh, I was going to get it. So I meditated daily and prayed hard. The next x-ray showed nothing. Maybe it was a flaw in the film. I didn’t care. That was 10 years ago and I had a bit more time.
But do we ever use that precious time wisely enough? How is it supposed to be spent? Like money in the bank, you have choices to make about your time. To me it’s more precious than gold though sometimes I fritter away my money as well as my time. Now when I want to be doing something creative, my body says “no, you must rest to make up for all the running this poor body into the ground.” Bells Palsy is here to give me time and take my time. I get to read long articles about time and to do the writing I’ve never had time for. Sometimes when I’m resting I feel like I’m wasting time. We were big on getting things accomplished in my family and resting was never on the list.
It seems the less time we have, the more precious it is to us. I spent the first 18 years with my family of origin minus one to recover from a trauma. The next 18 were spent with my first husband and our children. Although by then we had been divorced for 5 years, my first husband didn’t get enough time, passing from this earth at only 42.
I invested, not so wisely, the next 25 with the last husband that wanted all my time. I still didn’t have a clue as to how little time there was to accomplish so many things on my list. As I was leaving I declared that I was burning daylight. The rest is my time and I am using it carefully. Getting well is still at the top of my list of things to accomplish. Even if wellness never happens, I get to write, take classes on writing, read, garden, sew and spend time with family and friends that support and nourish me rather than drain me. I can also continue to give of my time and resources without restraint.
“Time is an illusion.”
― Albert Einstein
From my heart to yours,