As I sit waiting for the alarm on the coffee pot to go off signaling my coffee is ready, it seems like time isn’t moving quickly enough.
I really need a cup of coffee, but the internal workings of the coffee pot is telling me, “Wait, patience will be rewarded in a perfectly brewed cup of the best coffee you’ve ever tasted.”
If you’ve ever noticed, time seems to always go to fast or too slow. I’ve really never heard anyone say, “time went just right today.”
But, time is subjective in that it is different for everyone in their own perception of time, but in every instance — it’s something that can never be replaced.
We look at the clock and watch the moments go by, then wonder later where time has gone. Seconds turn into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days and days into years; the question is, how did we spend it and did we spend it wisely?
There have been many quotes about time by many great philosophers; songwriters write about it, but most of the time we seldom listen to their wisdom until it’s to late.
Adages such as, “Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind,” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and one of my favorites by Horace Mann, “Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever.”
With the demands on surviving in today’s world, personal time has never been more important in nourishing the soul and taking care of, and spending time with, the ones we love and treasure.
I sat looking at the cuckoo clock in my home office and thought what a fitting example it was of how time affects everything we do. Since the back comes off with relative ease, I took a look inside. I never realized there were so many working parts that caused the hands to move, the couples to dance, the trumpeter to blow his trumpet and the cuckoo to cuckoo.
All of it driven by the counterweights dangling at the bottom of the clock and the internal brain — the gears.
A cuckoo clock works with precise movement until something gets out of sorts — then, it’s not very good at keeping time or making sure everything is in balance, such as the trumpeter, the dancers or the cuckoo.
In life, we sometimes have to refocus how we spend time when it is out of balance — so we have time to toot our horn, dance, and like the cuckoo, act a little crazy when we feel like it.
When the weight and pressures of life stress the gears of our brain, it makes it hard to dance or sound our trumpet and time seems to stand still — until we can fix what’s out of sorts so things run smoothly again.
There are no real repair shops and friends are not always good at fixing someone else’s “clock.” So, eventually, we must take the back off and examine our own inner workings.
It’s comes down to being honest with oneself.
Do we value time? Or, do we live so much in today’s fast-paced world we forget the important things? Is our life like a job and our job our life, or do we involve ourselves in drama that is really not important in the long run? If so, it’s time to take the back off and have a look.
If things look worn down or worn out, it’s time to renew the parts with more time spent on the things we love and treasure — the things that really matter.
You can’t turn back the clock, but you can get it back to keeping perfect time with the things that matter most.
Time waits for no one, as it is said. But, as Hawthorne said, it does leave a shadow — perhaps a shadow of what could have been or of the time wasted on things that matter the least in the grand scheme of things.
Barbara Bush,wife of the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush,” said it best, I think. “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”
Yes, time does leave its shadow, but in that shadow you can always find a way to shine. Put what’s important first and let the things that matter least rest at the bottom of the proverbial jar we fit our lives into.