“Time keeps on slippin’, slippin into the future… Steve Miller
2014 continues to race by. Father’s Day has come and gone and 4th of July is only a few weeks away. As of the 7th I’ve officially been retired for a year now. Woo Hoo! I actually thought retirement would slow the passage of time down a bit, with no more 8 -3 commitment it just seemed logical. But I was sure wrong! Time still seems to be blowing by at an incredible rate.
I know many people say we just notice it more because we’re growing older but I don’t buy that theory. As a teacher and later as a counselor I often heard middle and high school students complaining about how fast time seems to be passing. And time does indeed seem to be passing more quickly and we are all more aware of it, old and young alike. Especially in moments of terror or high anxiety when time seems to go into a slo-mo mood. And yet at times when we are elated and having “the time of our lives” time may seem to fly. But what we experience is only a sensation, a feeling nothing more. It is our personal interpretation of time’s passage. The fact is that time passes at the same rate today as it always has. The space-time continuum hasn’t been altered by aging baby-boomers, technology or science. the passage of time is a constant although at times it certainly may not seem like it.
As a kid growing up in the late 50’s and early 60’s I don’t remember ever feeling like time was flying by. In fact it often felt like the opposite was true and time was passing slowly. When I got home from school I did my homework, did my chores then watched TV or went off to the park with my friends and I didn’t have to be home until the streetlight in front of the house came on. Yeah the days seemed longer and summer seemed to last forever, and of course each and every school day seemed like it would never end. Maybe it’s because we seemed to be living more in the moment then, or perhaps we just weren’t as distracted as we are today.
Today our lives are filled with an endless supply of mindless distractions and diversions, they’re everywhere! Television and cable offer us HD quality, over 300 channels plus movies, sports and on demand features. And they’re not all G – rated like they were when we were kids. Today just about anything goes. And boy does that eat up the hours! Being a couch potato is so much easier in this day and age than when I was growing up, no doubt about it.
Then there’s all the electronic entertainment gadgets available like the X-Box, Nintendo, Playstation, Game Boy, computer and cell phone games and apps, all designed to assist us in passing the time. And they are all good at doing exactly that. I tell you, games, cell phones and computers have changed societies way of life forever. More and more hours being consumed. Then of course there are laptops, tablets and home computers, hell even our cell phones are computers! Our windows to the world.
This is truly the Information Age. We have a vault of information at our finger tips. There isn’t anything we can’t find out about. When I was a kid it was hardbound volumes of Funk and Wagnal or Encyclopedia Brittanica, that provided us with information. Today they are outdated and useless. Why thumb pages when you’ve got Google and Wiki-pedia! They’ve revolutionized the way we do research. Even a search of the simplest of topics will net thousands and thousands of sites where information can be found. You can go anywhere and see anything. You can learn about everything no matter how mundane. But doing so is an time eater! You use up countless hours of your valuable time surfing the net. It’s damn easy to get lost in your computer or gaming systems for hours and hours at a time, hours that feel like no time at all.
So I ask you, do you think time has sped up or are we simply allowing it to pass us by? I believe it’s the latter. Most of us are piss poor time managers, we have no concept of how to use our time wisely, we simply allow time to slip through our lives like running water. Not that we have to use every minute of everyday wisely, but we should all have a better handle on our time. And we should always allow ourselves a little down time now and then. And you can’t look at it as time wasted. John Lennon once said ” Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time,” and I totally agree with him. We can all be better time managers and planners so that we can get the most from the time that’s been given to us, but we are all entitled to a little time to waste along the way as long as we enjoy ourselves while wasting it.
So get out there and work on getting a handle on your time, strive to make the most of it and try to make your moments count, but don’t get hung up on it. Don’t worry about wasting some time along the way. We deserve to and we certainly have earned the right to stop and smell the roses every now and then. And if you ever feel guilty about it just remember Lennon’s quote. Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
Just a Thought…