Loving to hate time – Part I

The ticking is unnerving. The half-hourly and hourly chiming is alarming. And in between the tiny tocks we’re supposed to stuff our biggie-sized days. The work, the e-mails, the relationships, the exercising, the bill-paying, the errands, the cooking, the cleaning, the sleeping, the playing, the writing…

Time and I have been at war for over twenty years, and in all that time I’ve not been able to, or have subconsciously not wanted to, put my finger on what it is that I don’t get about Time. Does some sick part of me enjoy always feeling rushed, pushed, constricted, inconvenienced? Or is it my excuse for not finishing what I start, for not being able to help out someone or some cause? Are Time and I really in cahoots? Do I hang with Time because it makes me look good, because against its backdrop of futility I work overtime regardless and begin to look a little like an amazing time-worn martyr worthy of wonder and praise?

In the moments that I’ve said I want to better understand the concept of time in hope of being able to relax about it, I’ve naturally tended toward the ambiguity of the spiritual realm. This means only that I’ve been too lazy to stir my brain cells to buck up for a dive into the realm of science. Spiritual is easier, is based on and at the core of one’s own internal feedback system which immediately lets us know what to us is real or not, true or not. There is no hypothesizing or deductive reasoning involved. It either feels right and true, or it doesn’t, and the idea that “all we have is now” rings true for me.

And *Bonus!* it’s one spiritual theme that’s also 100% logical at a glance, minimal brain cells required! The past is gone and the future is nothing yet which leaves us with only one thing we can be sure about: this very moment we’re alive and typing this or reading this. I could drop dead in the middle of the next sentence. That’s not morbid, that’s a fact. Makes me feel like I should really pay attention to the moment, really appreciate it and make the most of it. And that’s what happens when we allow it.

We’ve all had the experience of becoming lost in the moment, utterly absorbed in a task, then looking up at the clock thinking hours had passed when only a few minutes had passed. To address the rude thing that jolts us out of that blissful place and into a panic-stricken clock search would be to go off on a long and tortuous tangent. Suffice it to say that time can on occasion seem like it’s so gracious as to stand still for us, as to allow us what seems like an eternity to enjoy an activity.

So we’re onto something here, and yeah-yeah we’ll work on that, but facts is facts. Until we become enlightened spiritual gurus and experience the bliss of this moment in all our moments, what do we do with the moments we aren’t absorbed in or relaxed enough to appreciate? What about the moments that give us the feeling of getting yanked from appointment to emergency, from squeaking wheel to screaming kid, from frying pan to fire? When we’re in a place that feels more practical than spiritual, does the practicality of science have something for us that would soothe our minds until our souls can hear the sound of Om above the din of daily clamor?

I’m feeling a certain readiness, a willingness to put my brain through some scientific paces, mostly because I truly am looking for an answer to the previous question and partly to see if I can still knuckle down to something like that. But that’ll be for next time. Stay tuned for Part II…


In the meantime…

How’s your relationship with Time? Do you two get along just fine? Or do you fight like colors that clash?

Do you get done what you want and/or need to get done? If not, how do you make peace with, or reconcile that?



The sound of Om – Om Meditation

The sound of Om – Deva Premal sings the Gayatri Mantra

Who is Deval Premal anyway?

All photos from Getty Images and stock.xchng

13 responses to “Loving to hate time – Part I

  1. Thanks for your recent visit and comment. Time? I don’t know how to describe my relationship with time exactly. I don’t feel rushed these days. I get what I want to do done. I have cut out things that were making me feel too hurried or scattered, and that helps! My issue is more one of have I got enough energy than have I got enough time.

    (I enjoyed the Om meditation link. Thanks)

  2. Imelda: What you’ve described sounds to me like what I get clearer and clearer glimpses of as (ironically) time goes on! I think each year of experience that we log on this planet feeds us more and more of what we need to get real about time—what we really, truly want to do with it; what we can reasonably expect to get done in any given timeframe; and along the lines of your last sentence, what we really, truly want to invest our energy in! Thank you for touching down here again. I very much appreciate your perspective!!! :-)

  3. I had a friend who used to put himself to sleep at night by contemplating the
    ‘nature’ of time,- took about 12 seconds. Sometimes he would say ‘ It doesn’t take ME all day to do a day’s work!’ and leave the job 3 hours early. I like that attitude. Here’s my take on it;

    Count all the particles
    that make the evening sky.
    Measure the molecules
    that form the question ‘Why?’.
    Weigh the life created
    in a simple nursery rhyme.
    But don’t pull at the whiskers
    of dear old Father Time.

  4. Fighting with time seems like a Mars-Saturn relationship to me. Mars is angry and energetic and Saturn simply controls the time and the ugly truths so it keeps knocking on your door and saying: another day has gone by, my love ;)

    Having said that, lately time isn’t working for me neither. It’s too little. I can’t make the most of it. It flies and it seems to fly even faster when I’m not doing anything important, which is even odder. I don’t get it.

    Those long boring afternoons of childhood seem like another reality these days…

  5. Bass: I suppose in complicating the question of time with more unanswerables, you’ve answered the question, which is to say it’s not figureoutable. Both in the fascinating concept of contemplating the nature of time (what did your friend find out???) and in the infinite expanse of your little poem full of unmeasureables we’re left in our original state of wondering… And all we have left is to laugh?

    Devil Mood: I know how busy you’ve been lately so extra thanks for stopping by with your insights and support!
    The Mars-Saturn thing exemplifies my overall experience with time, with me being so angry bashing my head in futility against the mean beast, Saturn’s, control and taunting. As I mentioned in my response to Imelda, as I get older my view of time gets better—I think because I’m learning more both about myself and about life in general—but that old theme, my war against time, lies as a sore spot underneath…
    I’ve had your experience of time flying faster when I’m goofing off but not absorbed in enjoyment in what I’m doing and for me I always wonder if the flying faster perception is because of, or at least made worse by, my feelings that I should have done more with that time. Who knows? It’s frustrating and then some! :-(

  6. I do not get along with Time. Unlike what Jagger sang, and someone else wrote, Time is not on my side. TIme’s a bitch to me really. And I have no idea what I did wrong. I’ve never found time for work or play.

    So, no, I never get done what I want done. How do I reconcile with that? Well, I don’t. I probably have never done so. What I do instead is forget. I forget how little time I had when I needed more, how much I was loaded with when I had no work/play to busy myself with. So yea, now that you’ve reminded me, I’m super pissed with Time. But I’ll forget. It’ll pass.

  7. Oh hi Void[I] can’t imagine how you found [me]
    Ha! This is so cool. Welcome, welcome! Your humor is just what this place needs.
    Allow me to try to fix you now, because this forgetting about Time business is too laissez faire, too lie-down-and-die ;-) I have a plan, just a slight variation on your theme because, after all, she hates me, too, and haunted as I am I dare incur only that of her wrath as I know I can endure, i.e. I’m a wordy wimp. The plan is not to forget, but to ignore Time. A very clever woman once imparted to me this wisdom, “Ignore it and it will go away,” so I tried in on the school bus bullies and it worked. No reaction, no fun, no continuation. Then maybe we’ll be singing Tony Iommi’s [Time is Mine].

  8. oh i think i get along fine alright, i’m too lost to figure anyways.

    you must read this book called ‘eintsein’s dreams’ – its all about time, and is simply too enchanting. will await part 2!

  9. Heh, thanks a lot. You talk about my humour like yours isn’t present. Quite the contrary. It’s interesting that you talk about Time as a woman. Like all natural forces, eh? I was struggling with that while writing my earlier comment. I chickened out and just stuck to the proper noun. Well, not to pat my own back, blow my own horn or scratch my own bum, but I think that what I do is ignoring as well…till I just forget about it. :P

  10. Hi Dharmabum! Too lost LOL! Hey, you must be super-busy these days to risk mutiny on your site like you’re doing, and yet you worked a deal with Time to come by here! I am so flattered, grateful, all that! ;-) And you are such the sweetest to offer me a humane method of putting myself out of my misery—I read a book review of “Einstein’s Dreams” and loved it! It’s on my list to get. Thank you, thank you! Don’t hold your breath regarding Time Part 2. I first have to expound the glories of a new find, tomorrow or the next day.

    Hi Void! Talk? Humour? Yeah, I know… I do a lot of things! If you keep showing up here, and I hope you do, you’ll get a whiff of the drift of my brand and balance of yin/yang and how all good, bad, and/or indifferent opinions are drained from each reader in lieu of blood or cash ;-) I’m no fainting southern belle but I’m not a femiNazi either, so I dreamhopepray you’ll feel free to call it however you see it…I won’t report you to Ms. Steinem! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m not ignoring you or forgetting you, it’s that I’ve an odd vision of simultaneous back-patting, horn-blowing, and bum-scratching to entertain! :-D

  11. “I first have to expound the glories of a new find, tomorrow or the next day.”

    what a beautiful way of looking at life, missalister! thank you for this wonderful thought.

    ‘busy’ is a boring word. work hard, ‘party’ hard. no mutiny’ing for a bum like me :)

  12. Bum: LOL! Glad you liked it. And I’m glad you posted something yesterday! I loved it…as you probably know by now :-)

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