This was an interesting revelation as I was strolling this Friday morning with my son, enjoying our early morning walk to school, well, his walk to school, my final march before work, and something hit me as I found myself noticing how fast the apparent week had flown.
The week, as well as many other days, and even years had flown by as I, and a multitude of others, seem to wish ourselves ahead trying to "get through" certain obligations and obstacles that stand between us and that which we desire to enjoy. From our frequented phrases such as "hump day" pertaining to getting over the hump of the week, and onto TGIF, which I am sure we are all aware of the acronym's definition, we seem to place ourselves in a continual state of longing. From wishing we were older as children, to wishing Christmas would come, to desiring the unhindered ability to drink a legal beer, we often find that there is often something between us, and that which we crave to enjoy. The culprit is time.
I found today, as I often do, that I was projecting forward to the tasks that lay before me that I had to either tackle or endure to be able to find myself in the mental state of "leisure" and unobstruction, to where I could find peace and or happiness that would allow me to enjoy what I consider "freedom". I think "freedom" is a chosen "perspective" that is the antithesis of having obligations that we either find mundane, or cumbersome; and that our jobs, kids, chores and whatnot, often are hinderances to us, disallowing our "freedom" to be able to enjoy that which we as simple humans have to perform for financial as well as physical sustainability. Basically we gotta work to be able to play. We have to be there for our kids, so our kids will want to be there with us. We have to pay our bills and our dues as a normal course in our lives to have the ability to have that "freedom" we find elusive. As has been stated, "freedom is another word for nothing left to lose".
I find also interesting that once we get our "weekend" or "freedom" per se, it is not long before we begin to project and dread the upcoming new week that can hinder our ability to truly enjoy the time which we crave. We will often spend the "quality time" bemoaning that it will soon be over as many do on Sundays. We hop immediately back on the "mental hamster wheel" further making it difficult to "be where you are when you are there"...
In always trying to "get through", or to get ahead, or to wrap things up, we will seemingly diminsh the most precious of resources we have and that is time. In "working for the weekend", or "hang on baby, Friday's coming", or clock watching, we seem to speed up the resource of time therefore propelling us towards our demise as fast as we propel towards happy hour. In longing for this time to speed up, it often ironically appears to us inversely and seems to slow down while we long for the end of our suffering, working, or tasks before us. We can't get through things fast enough. Therefore the paradox lies that in "wishing our lives" away, we can often find ourselves lamenting and wondering where the proverbial time went. Well, due to our desires and perceptions, we wish it away with our wishes being granted. This not only includes the stuff we dislike, but the joys and memories that can be contained therein, as well as time is 'collective' and does not isolate certain things categorically. This I mean is, it is an 'all or nothing deal'. If you wish time would speed up, so does our joys, our youth, and the youth of our children, and the multitude of other small wonders that fill the gaps in between the time we work. In a normal week, we have 168 hours, and spend 40-ish on the job, meaning we spend less than 25% of our lives working. That 25% subsidizes the "freedom" and joy we crave. Not a bad return on investment, and one I wish I get get in interest or stocks.
I also observed that when we are also enjoying ourselves, time does appear to fly as our desires to hold onto a moment battles with the reality of fleeting time. The harder we try to hold on to our youth, joy, intimate moments, our children's youth and attention is rivaled with the reality of the clock's progression. However, I have found that when I am truly present and not bound by projection; disconnection and sadness that the event will conlcude, I can be present in the moments I cherish, and they seem to disconnect from normal time perspective, and can seem to take on a 'mystical time isolation' that is free from time that is stated on the face of a watch. We can detach and drink in the moments we crave with enduring joy not only in experience, but also in reflection, and memories that we can indellibly stamp in our lives and our minds by remaining present in our daily routines. By having one foot placed on the fast-forward button, we take that one foot and place it ahead of us, unstabilizing our footing in what can be a much more pleasant "now". So time can "slow down" when you are having fun as well if you let it...
I have found that it is how we choose to embrace time whether or not it will drag, or propel at alarming rates in what goes on now in front of us. In the grand spatial perspective of our lives, this is also true when we look back at our lives as a whole. It is our "perspective" of what is happening to us and how we label it as "good or bad" or "happy or sad" that makes the endurance tolerable. One thing though is true; time is our most precious resource. Time does not care how we feel about that which goes on around us as it ominously ticks away. Next time you are in front of your DVD player or DVR, hit the fast forward button of a movie you have never seen, and then see how much you get out of it. See how many of the details you remember. How interesting is the dialogue? One thing is for certain, there is no rewind button in life.
So as I continued through out the day, as I examined those comments from people wishing the day/week to be over, "happy hour approaches", and desires for a rapid conclusion for the week, I am reminded that I need to be more mindful of how I can throw my life into hyperdrive. No matter my will or desires, there will always be the same amount of minutes, hours, and days in a week. I cannot truly speed up or slow down time. I can only choose the perspective in which I observe it all. I have also found that we all will reach the "finish line", but I realize that is a race I really do not care to win.