Image Credit: violscraper via flickr.com
From time to time I think about time. Time travels fast or slow, depending on where you are on your personal clock. I realize people like Albert Einstein made far greater an effort to understand time than I ever could, but it fascinates me nonetheless. Is time spent wondering about time, time well spent? Or, am I better off abandoning all this for the time being? Tick Tock.
When you are young, time goes slowly. You anxiously await every birthday so you can claim to be yet another year older. Remember how long the school year seemed when you were a child? It took June forever to arrive each year. That is why there is a very specific euphoria we sense on the last day of school that is unmatched by any other feeling. Knowing that summer vacation begins the minute that last bell rings is an awesome emotional moment. Meanwhile, it seems it takes forever to reach 12th grade. After that, there are four more long years of college you might choose to endure. Then along comes the 21st year, the great benchmark in our lives when we and everyone else finally accept our having arrived at adulthood. Tick Tock.
These years seem to crawl by while you are living them. The pace, however, subtly picks up as you journey deeper into adulthood. In our 20’s time references change. We no longer chart grades passed, credits earned or summer vacations taken. Our check-off points now are more aligned with events like relationships, jobs, living quarters and, yes, even cars. Onward into our thirties, charge card balances continue to surge quickly, diminish slowly. Children’s shoe sizes and the grocery bill increase almost correspondingly. Your forties quicken the pace even more as you chase consumer goods, tackle insurance premiums and your kid’s college tuition–I won’t even go there. These are the elements we remember and track time with. They remain our monitors until around age 50. Tick Tock
At 50, time really begins to speed up. Christmas, New Years, 4ths of July and all the other holidays seem to be on us again almost as soon as they had passed. For God’s sake, how many times can we watch A Christmas Story? Meanwhile, our parents are fading. Garage clutter builds more rapidly and the medicine shelf overflows more frequently. Tick Tock.
60 is uncomfortable. The slope is no longer upward. You ponder how slippery its downside will be. Goal-setting is more pragmatic. That age-old job interview question—Where do you want to be in five years?—is now less elaborately answered simply by saying, “Alive!” More time is spent thinking about how much longer can I work; how much longer will an employer let me work; how much income will I need to survive after work; should I resize, downsize or can I still energize? How’s my heart? Tick Tock.
Yep, I think a lot about time nowadays. It is the one thing over which I have absolutely no control. An old boss of mine taught me not to worry about things over which I have no control. To do so is a waste of time. Hmm, time wasted…how much of that do we spend time doing? Well, control or out of control, thinking about time can be time consuming. I suppose I should hit the snooze button and not worry about time for a short time. True, I cannot predict the gates or the watch boxes I’ll have to key into when (if?) I reach my 70s and 80s. At that age I am sure I will be thinking even more precisely about time than I am now. After all, at that point it’s….just a matter of time. Tick Tock.
Books by Marc Kuhn: THE POPE’S STONE, an historical novel that follows two descendants of a Virginia family who, despite living a century apart, share uncanny similarities in their lives; NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE, a collection of whimsical verse featuring thought-provoking “never-do’s” that children should beware of; and ABOUT A FARM, a children’s book about challenges we all face every day, regardless of where we live. All three books are available at amazon.com and each has its own .com website under its title.
Intimate details about Marc Kuhn and other exhilarating stuff at marckuhn.com
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