The Perspective of Time

Time Flies.  You know the saying, “Time sure flies when you are having fun?”  I can’t even count the number of times I have heard this in my life.  For a long time, I would always respond with, “yeah, but do you know what the frogs say to each other?”  I would answer, “Time is sure fun when you are having flies!”
Having Flies
Maybe both are true.  It probably just depends on your perspective.  Seems like so much of what I write about is about perspective and perception.  For most of us, it is very hard to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.  We get so busy with our lives we should be saying, “Time sure flies when you are not paying attention.”  I bet that is very true for many others as well – as we find ourselves just going through the motions and before we know it another week, month, or year have gone by.

So, here is something about perspective.  Have you heard the story about the man on a commuter train with the out of control kids?  There he sits with a blank look on his face while his young kids are literally bouncing off the wall of the train until someone jolted him out of his trance with a question about why he is letting his kids behave that way.  Their perspective was that he was not performing his fatherly duties.  When asked, the man said back with little emotion that they had just come from burying their mom and he really did not know what to say to the kids to settle them down.  I do think of this story often when I am considering rendering a perspective of my own.  The person I might be aiming my frustrations at is someone’s mother, father, grandparent – and most likely I have no idea what is going on in their life at that moment.

What does perspective have to do with time?  We all value time differently, and for many of us time does tend to fly by quickly and maybe we should make some attempt to slow it down just a bit.  Heed the advice to stop and smell the flowers, if you will.

Let too much time fly by and there will be no flowers to smell.  Surely other people have a different point of view about time.  Everyone may have their own of course.

Maybe it is just a state of mind, with quite possibly our activity driving how we feel about the speed at which time progresses for us.  My paternal grandmother would say busy work makes the time fly by.  As kids we were never quite ready to stop having fun which I guess feeds right into the first quote, “time sure flies when you are having fun.”

One cultural belief said to having been debated now for about 100 years is the notion that as you get older time seems to pass more quickly.  Interestingly, there was a study done earlier this year that concluded that young people and old people gauged the passing of time with very little difference at all.  Personally, I think that the older people get the more they “think” about time and that may just be wherein lies the difference.  As youth, we often never worry about time because there always seems like more of it will be available.

For many it is just our particular circumstances that impact the feeling of time flying by.  When I look at the days left before my youngest is out of high school and off to college I start to feel like much of time has passed me by.  Setting the calendar up for college visits, and when tests should be taken, and all of the other steps in the process to prepare for the next big journey teenagers will face and all of a sudden I start to feel like there is just not enough time to get it all done and begin to feel the pressure of the available time closing in.  Having been through this once already maybe it is just me remembering how quickly this went by the last time!

As I approach the second half of my life maybe it is me focusing on time – looking at my health and everything else and being optimistic that I really am in the second half.  Don’t we all want to live to be 100?

In the meantime focus on the big rocks (like in the story I wrote about here) with the time you have so there is not a regret moment in your life later on.  The bottom line here is that you are only given so much time to spend. Do you know what your perspective of time is?

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