Okay, so it is January 3, 2012 and I’m still trying to figure out what happened to August, 2010.
Is it just me or does time seem to move faster with each passing year? Not just a little faster as in, “My baby is turning 3!” I’m talking a lot faster as in, “Holy Cow! I’m a grandparent!” This is a phenomenon that has had me concerned for quite some time because if time continues to move faster every year the time will come when my alarm will go off in the morning and by the time I get up it will be time to go to bed.
Personally, I blame “time-saving” devices. For each minute we save we seem to lose five. How? I think I have finally figured it out. Things used to be measured in seasons (winter, spring, summer and autumn) and days (baking day, washing day, etc.). Now we measure time in minutes (commute time, video clips, microwaves) and seconds (processor speed, website loading, copy speeds). You would think that measuring time in smaller units would make it last longer, but instead it hurries us along at ever-increasing speeds.
When we used longer units of time we seem to have taken more time to enjoy what was happening around us. A breeze that cools on hot days spent working out-of-doors. The taste of cool, clear water when your mouth is dry and full of dust. The taste of fresh home-made bread hot out of the oven. The smell of lilacs that grow next to your clothes line. The beauty of the sunset at the end of an exhausting and productive day. That feeling of satisfaction when the day’s work is done. People weren’t less busy, but they found joy and satisfaction in the process of being productive.
While we rush headlong through our lives in minutes and seconds focussing on the destination, I think we are missing the joys of the journey. We look back at each day and see the things that did not get done. With all the technology and our total focus on getting everything done, days never really end. We go to work in the wee hours of the morning, often before the sun comes up, and work late into the night rarely giving ourselves time to rest and recharge. We are constantly on the go as we fill each minute of our day with “important” things.
I know that we cannot go back to the “slower” pace of times gone by. Life will continue to be measured in ever smaller increments of time, but I think we should be aware of those elusive moments. Moments are filled with the things that make our lives better. Watching my granddaughter show of her ability to hop on one foot. Listening to my children laugh together. The smell of crock pot chili. The taste of an apple as the juice drips down my chin. The feel of my pillow at the end of the day. As we share these moments with each other, we can expand our own ability to see these moments.
What moments have made your days better, brighter and fuller?