Sunday evenings are often used as a time for reflection. I tend to revisit all the things I did over the weekend, or hadn’t done but wish I had, and look ahead with trepidation at the week to come. These evenings are usually accompanied by a churn or sickness in my stomach, brought about by regret for not using my time a bit more wisely (I enjoy my sleep too much sometimes) or a yearning to extend the weekend out another few days.
Last night I sat in my leather love-seat, the fan funneling pre-autumn chills from the window into my apartment, hoping time would slow so I wouldn’t have to face the dreaded Monday morning so soon. Of course that didn’t happen, time only accelerated with each passing minute, and the clock’s arms seemed to move faster with intention, as if mocking my hope. I found myself scrambling to make good use of what little time I had left, but in the end, time became my enemy.
As evening turned into night, I reluctantly wandered over to my bed to do some reading before I gave up on trying to be productive. I was discouraged to find the numbers on the alarm next to my nightstand were glowing a red 11:30, two hours faster than the time my internal clock was set to. Ten minutes later, drool fell from my cheek, the book was on my chest and I hadn’t even gotten through two pages. I happened to be woken by my dog, Sparky, who was making himself comfortable on the blanket in the space between my legs. Two thoughts became prevalent as I set my alarms and turned off the lights: time is working against us & time is not our friend.
I think it’s safe to say most people have walked in the shoes I was in on Sunday. We blinked, and Friday night came and went. When we blinked again, Saturday was gone. By the third blink, it was past our bedtime on a Sunday night. One last blink and we’re at our desks, wondering where all our time went.
Time can be a gift and a curse. It’s a curse because there’s not enough of it. Considering the amount of time that has passed since our universe’s inception, we only get to experience a sliver of it. We are teased with infinite amounts of information and experiences but are limited to brief lifespans and a finite capacity to experience what’s out there (most don’t have the financial means to travel, vacation more than two weeks a year, or the capabilities to warp-speed between galaxies or through time itself.)
It’s also a curse due to us not being able to spend it as we please. The few moments when we can pretend time is ours, it speeds by, faster than a racecar, especially when compared to the snail’s crawl time exhibits during the week. Those who are getting older, like myself, can feel each moment slipping by quicker than it did ten years ago and it’s getting worse with each passing year. It just doesn’t seem fair that we have, and will, miss so much and the times we haven’t missed have gone by too quickly.
In my post about Hurricane Harvey, I briefly discussed perspectives and how there are certain instances in our lives when we are able to truly appreciate the fragility of life. The principle applies here too: time equals life and it is incredibly fragile. It goes without saying, but we waste a lot of it, and it seems that true reverence for life/time comes at those moments of crisis or when we are nearing the end of our adventure on this planet. When we are in the present, it is easy to take time for granted because it doesn’t feel so fleeting, it’s always afterwards when we realize it fell through our fingertips.
For all of time’s ups and downs, enduring and fleeting moments, there is a gift to be found within it. In spite of the negatives I’ve mentioned, the positive comes in the form of appreciation. I don’t always, but in this rare moment, I appreciate the time that has been allotted to me. Without it, I wouldn’t have known what it was like to have been held by my parents, to grow-up with my siblings trailing behind me, to feel the warmth of a woman’s touch, or experience any of the love I’ve received the last 28 years.
Time is unfair and works against us from the day we’re born until the day we die. We will miss some things, and time will move on without us when we pass, but find those little things that make time (life) worthwhile. Remember the things that matter most and pursue the things that make time as enjoyable as possible. All we can do is try to understand and appreciate the little bit that has been given to us.
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