Time is everything

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 10:17 PM | comments: 1

I was thinking today about how the passage of time, and the uncertainty of how much we have, is a popular theme in various art forms. (Can you tell I've been listening to Hamilton a lot lately? I mean, "time" is one of the last few words of the show.) But beyond the arts, time is everywhere in life. I guess I've really felt it the last few weeks as I've been doing the kind of work that makes days seem short. Before you know it, you've arrived at another weekend. And then Facebook is always bothering me with photos of my darling son with chubby cheeks and and those creases in his fat legs that look like tiny butt cracks.

We measure everything in time. We have birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, years in houses, years at jobs. For some reason people default to an hour to schedule meetings. Your Prime membership means 2-day shipping. That project at work has a deadline. You're 30 years from retirement but 12 from empty nesting. Two months until your next vacation. Another year and your car is paid-off. You haven't been able to shit in two days, maybe because you're stressed out about how quickly time is passing. Time is everywhere.

I'm not sure if I'm alarmed by all of this time stuff, because I certainly can't do anything about it, but also because I'm not always in motion. As the storytellers are often fond of reminding us, it's important that we take the time to live in the moment and back away from all of the planning and scheduling. Some people are really terrible at this. If I objectively look at my life, I can say that I have countless happy memories with no urgency about anything. I had lots of them as a child, lying in the camper, completely opened up, as a cool breeze passed over me on a lazy afternoon while I took a nap. I've lost track of how many times I've had with Simon like this, especially in the last two years, when we've been able to sit on the bed and talk about our day. Sometimes you are doing stuff, but it isn't toward any goal or requirement. Diana and I have been fortunate enough to do this, making time for each other over a spontaneous lunch or other activities. Whether it was mundane household tasks or errands or whatever, we make choices to have relatively unstructured time to just be.

There's nothing wrong with having a plan, but for me, I value the moments that aren't driven by the passage of time. There is a finite supply of those.


Comments

Evan, January 24, 2017, 8:35 PM #

Powerful passage, Jeff. I enjoyed this one.


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