Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Fickleness of Time

It's only Tuesday. This week already feels long and we're not even over the midpoint yet. I'm not sure how that happens. Time should be a measured thing. It should be something that's consistent and whole. It is, technically, the same amount of time and yet...don't you think time moves faster sometimes than at others?

I find that it moves faster on, say, Saturdays and Sundays than it does on Mondays and even Tuesdays. Perhaps we all have our own personal time conversion systems. For example, an hour on a Saturday is the equivalent of, say, four hours on a Monday. Thus, within two hours on a Saturday, I've passed an entire Monday.

Everyone's different but I do guarantee that everyone's time conversion system works in a similar fashion: The time on a weekend is less than or equal to that of a workday.

This system explains so much. It explains how we can reach noon on a Saturday and feel relaxed and laughing. We can glance at the clock and be shocked that it's already noon. We can check our internal calendars and say, "Wow, really? I can't believe time went by so fast!"

Yet, you take the equivalent on a Monday and by noon, we feel exhausted, beaten and ready to put our heads in the sand. Time doesn't move fast..it slows to a snail's pace. We start looking forward to the elusive weekend. Friday never seems that far but, yet, it's still days away.

I've said all along that the time on a weekend flies far quicker than it does on a weekend. Technically, logically, it's the same time. And...yet...if you're stuck doing something you don't want to be doing vs. that of something you do want to be doing...time moves at whatever pace it wants to.

Still, time could stand still. I note that time only stands still for really happy occasions or, more common, unhappy ones. Time freezes on our memories like a photo whether it's for a good memory or a bad memory.

In my case, I tend to rely more on memories than I do on photos. I have friends who are all about cameras and photography. I admire them this hobby. I also benefit from it as I get prints from their experiences. Yet, for me, my memories are not etched into the printout from an HP Laser Jet printer or from the photo booth at Target- they're etched in my mind. I love to have photos of my family on my desk or in my home yet, really, I rarely look at the photos. Instead, I close my eyes and recall the interactions and memories I share with them.

Thus, the really impressive moments in life are frozen in my memory. The really bad ones are too. Time freezes for these moments. They remain forever stuck in your mind. Songs, smells and tastes bring those moments back to you. No matter where you are and what you're doing, sometimes all it takes is to hear a certain song on the radio and suddenly time is frozen again. No matter how much time has passed, no matter what memory it was, it's there...there's no denying its attempt to recapture that moment of your life.

Clearly, I'm feeling reflective this week. I think with the changing of the seasons, that's a natural response. Time's measure remains the same but our measure of it remains influid...untrackable. While I long for the scent of autumn leaves, we're currently still stuck in summer's hold. The humidity builds, the heat remains and the leaves on the trees remain frozen, as though their own sense of time is no longer reliable.

Still, tomorrow is the midpoint of the week. The weekend is not far beyond. As my young cousin reminded me, we shouldn't wish time to pass but we should hold onto it as best we can.

And yet, it seems much harder to remember that on workdays, doesn't it? The weekend is so much easier to capture.

Happy Wednesday!

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