We’ve all experienced the feeling of occupation that makes the passage of an hour, or a longer period of time, a mere nothing. You get lost. You’re swept along oblivious with each tick of the clock. Something traps your focus until you’re left asking where the day went.
There can be good reasons for this and bad. Enjoyment; time flies when you’re having fun. Stress; the pressure to get something done by a deadline makes time evaporate.
Do something you really enjoy for five minutes and see if it doesn’t feel like five seconds. Watch every second of a clock tick by for the same amount of time on the other hand, and it languidly mocks you, prolonging your voyeurism for five hours.
I’ll never get those five minutes back, you might say sarcastically, as if that’s a possibility for any other five minute period in your life. But all those other five minutes are consigned to history just the same. And yet, in these slow moments we want the clock to move faster. We do something that our elders often told us not to – we wish our lives away.
How short-sighted of us to cajole the sand into the bottom chamber of life’s hourglass when we know it can’t go back. The increasing emptiness of the top chamber speaks sadly of what has already fallen through. The hourglass clings to what remains, but time can’t be stopped or saved. It can, however, be savoured.
Whether we feel time is passing slowly or quickly, we can come to a realisation. We can stop and check-in with ourselves and understand that the future can wait for now. Time is moving quickly, but I’m thankful to be having fun at this moment; time is moving slowly but I’m thankful I can appreciate the present, I’m thankful I’m here.
I’m thankful to see the sun as it lazily reveals itself and urges optimism at the start of a day. I’m thankful to see the moon keeping watch amid impending darkness. I’m thankful that no matter what trials are before me, tonight I will be in my bed.
If my calculations are correct there are 105120 blocks of five minutes in every 365-day year. Some will go slow and some will go fast. Each one is an opportunity. An opportunity to capture that moment before the sand hits the bottom chamber and say, if this isn’t nice I don’t know what is.