Chapter 9.1 Time and Impatience

Time and Impatience

“I’m late, I’m late. For a very important date”
White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

Our lists have taken us over!  We live in the world of hectivity (sic).  So many people are trying to cram more and more into seconds of time, filling it with activity and purpose.  Or are they?

“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”
Will Rogers (1879-1935) American Humorist/Quotemaker

Now we all know somebody who is chronically late.  No matter what the occasion may be, they are always 5-15 minutes late (yes, some are much worse.)  And that’s okay … if they don’t delay the start of the activity for the rest and if they can just flow into an occasion already started.

But often, the person that is late is holding up the others.  The old “a dollar waiting on a dime.”  They just had to cram a few more things in their me-world before they could make it to the we-world.

To me, this is a very self-centered action.  Their quest to optimize 60 seconds with five minutes worth of work, means that they think that their time is more important than us poor slugs who believe in being prompt.  It shows that they have no respect for the other person’s time, or … maybe no respect for the other person(s) at all.

“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.”
Hector Louis Berlioz (1803-1869)            French Composer

We value our time so much that we become impatient if anything interrupts us on our current focus …  slow traffic, children asking “why”, telephone interruptions, waiting in lines, watching the clock, waiting (for anything). Often our impatience can be resolved by stepping back and realizing that the tie-up will soon be over and forgotten … really, it will be forgotten.  So the issue that we are impatient with is probably pretty small.

Why is it that we place so much value on time?

“Time passes irrevocably”
Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC)         Classical Roman Poet

I guess that pretty much says it.   Time only exists in the present … this moment is lost immediately.   Is time really a peg board that we have to fill in as many holes as possible to feel our worth?

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Too many people look upon time as an enemy, something to battle, something to beat. Trying to overload the time dimension only puts our lives out of rhythm. It has been said that the clock was first “machine”, and that it has become the heart of our industrialized society. By equating time to a machine, we have taken it out of our bodies.

The key is to look at time as an ally, another Earthwhile tool. We should use it efficiently and not waste it. There is plenty of time to do what is necessary to do, but we need to make choices. Too often we put off what we think is most important until we can get all the little odds and ends done. Then there is no time to do what we really want to do. Value your time … one day it may not be there.

“Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life.”
Daniel Francois Auber (1782-1871)         French Composer

And why does time go faster as you get older?  According to a family source, it goes like this:

“When you are five years old, a year is 1/5th of your life.  When you are fifty years old, a year is 1/50th of your life.  Everyone knows that 1/50 of something is much smaller than 1/5, so it makes sense that it will go by faster.”
Jim Allen, PhD        Marine Biologist

In a way, I can almost buy into this.  The more experiences that one has, the smaller each experience is in our life.  Of course, this is silly if you are an infinite being, an immortal that lives on through many lives.  But in this life, that is a grouping of time-limited experiences, it just could make sense.

That being said, a couple of other quotes to ponder … that is, of course, if you have the time …

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day  listening to the murmur of water,or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time”
Sir J. Lubbock (1834-1913)          English Politician/Archaeologist

“A man sits with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems shorter than a minute. But tell that same man to sit on a hot stove for a minute, it is longer than any hour. That’s relativity”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)         German Theoretical Physicist

“Pleasure and action makes the hours seem short.”
William Shakespeare(1564-1616)        English Playwright

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”
Crowfoot, (1830-1890) Blackfoot Warrior and Orator


2 Responses to “Chapter 9.1 Time and Impatience”

  1. Pismo Painter Says:

    Time management first requires separating choices into important versus not important. Then further dividing into urgent versus not urgent. It is the important, non urgent tasks that create value in your life. Such activities as reading, creating, thinking and relaxing one’s mind have more value over time than a long To Do list of perceived tasks other expect of us. (Thougts stolen from Covey’s Seven Habits)

  2. Son in Law D'light Says:

    When I was in college, I decided that time was a ellusive human construct To which I did not to subscribe and that actually life was made up of a series of moments tied together by thought… I guess what I have learned since then is that time doesn’t care what I think… It just keeps ticking away.

    I love the idea of taking time back from the machines and putting it back in our bodies and also in nature. Next time I assign a time to a task I will try to think of it in terms of waves in the ocean, or heartbeats, or sunsets, or…

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