Making it to Monday: The Essence of Time
There are many sayings about time and at some level I suppose they are all true. Time, in the last month, has flittered in and out of necessity much like laundry soap or coffee, you don't know you are out until it is an emergency. Other times there has been an endless supply of time but much like when I tried to open the house with my car key, it just didn't fit. Like Ronald Dahl said in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory "There's so much time and so little to do. Strike that -reverse it."
Time speeds up as you get Older
There is no greater evidence of this truth that when trying to rush my 8 year old out the door. It is not secret that my 8 year old is a dawdler. When she was younger I called it any number of things like ADD, dreamy, flighty. As she got older I assumed it was control. Her brother was always on time, to a fault, so her only rebellious output was to make him late. Now, as our 3 year old enters a season of timeless independence, I have a different perspective.
Time simply goes faster for me. "We have to leave in 10 minutes" is a 3 alarm fire in my head. 10 minutes to absolutely not enough time to put shoes on, find coats, make sure gloves and hats have been located (twice) and the dog is leashed and ready to go. My experience yells for more time.
My girls have a whole different inner monologue. When I say "We leave in 10 minutes!" They hear "I have 10 whole minutes. What can I possibly dream up to fill up all that time!" Time simply does not mean the same thing to them. This realization has undoubtedly changed the way I hustle them through the morning. Their urgency simply doesn't mirror mine because time exists differently for them. Time must really go faster when you get older.
Time Flies when you are Having Fun
This is certainly an obvious statement. Of course time appears to go faster when you aren't consumed with it's use. For example the hours of 6-9pm seem to last forever in this house. It's the time of homework, and dinner preparation, bath time and bedtime, clean up the kitchen and walk the puppy. Those are the hours that Ronald Dahl speaks of. But the hours of 9-11pm go by in an instant. These are the hours of Netflix and wine, conversation or writing. They are the hours full of all the mind consuming things of my day.
Children will always say that the time spent waiting for Christmas is the slowest time of their lives. Of course it is! In the life of a child, nothing is ever as fun as Christmas. Simply the anticipation of the fun of Christmas slows down time in such a profound way. For us adults Christmas time flies by. It's the season of so much mind consuming experiences it can't help but speed past.
Time is of the Essence
Perhaps this is the phrase that I think more than any other. My children are master time wasters. I am certain that I hurry them along a few dozen times a day. “Hurry - we will be late for school. Hurry - the dog needs to go out. Hurry- it's already past bedtime. Hurry- Dinner is almost ready.” Time is of the essence. In order to fit so many things into our lives everyday, we must use our time wisely. In light of the others, this one hits a chord with me. Time is certainly of the essence. Well, my time is. My time is full of things. Because even things that don't register on their internal to do list are on mine. Sure we have to leave for school in 10 minutes. For the most part, they can complete their tasks of brushing teeth and grabbing coat in the allotted time. It's my time that is of the essence.
Maybe these are all part of the same truth. Time does speed up when you get older, because you've seen more of it. Each moment holds less weight because of all the amazing moments that came before. The fabric of life weaves time together making it a long tapestry of connected experiences that float seamlessly from one to another. For children it is more like a knitted scarf. The holes will be filled in someday, but for now their independent experiences jump from one exciting moment to another. Time is slow because it has to float through all the gaps. Maybe time does fly when you are having fun, because that tapestry is being painted with vivid colors that tap into our emotion and heart. It's an out of body experience! Time really is of the essence. Or maybe it is the essence. This new year It’s high time I pour a cup of coffee and drink in the essence of this moment in time.