Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time Flies

Fall is definitely upon us in Boston. The air is crisp, and I find myself wanting to feel cozy, rather than - well - just not sticky. I love this season.

Strangely, it felt like summer was barely around. Of course, that wasn't helped by the horrible weather we had through July, but nonetheless, the time just skipped along. Last weekend, at the gorgeous wedding of 2 close friends, I couldn't help but think how quickly the year of their engagement - and the year of my own - had gone by. In 30 days, I'll be a married woman. The time just flew by. 

It's odd how often we wish time would just pass. Back in my consulting days, I used to beg for horrible long meeting days to end so I could be blissfully relaxed in whatever hotel room would be home for the night. On flights, I can't wait for the time to move forward, and somehow every commercial break on TLC's Little People Big World seems painfully long.  It feels like when you fight it, time slows down and fights back. 

On the other hand, our friends' wedding passed in an instant. Admittedly, I was initially jetlagged and later rather inebriated, but nonetheless, the 7 course meal even passed in a flash, and before we knew it, it was 1am and the DJ was playing the ending credits to the Simpsons (which was highly appropriate). A wedding is really just 10-15 good dance songs long. While my entire body ached from the dancing for days afterwards, it still seemed to pass in a flash. When you're trying to slow down time, it seems to race ahead to elude your efforts.

I once had a boyfriend (who would resist that title) who harped on being present and in the moment. This lesson was learned after a reasonably underclothed cooking accident involving oil and a nasty stovetop fire. The story is not quite fit to blog, but has been known to reduce my friends to tears of laughter. Nonetheless, while he was wrong about so many things, being present was definitely a valuable motto. 

More than that, however, there's a component of presence that requires you to drink everything in, and savor it in real time. And not try to hold on, or consciously optimize. Just .. enjoy. 

I hope I can do that next month at my own wedding. I certainly wont be worried about the canapes. 


Capt. BS said...

I have this theory that our perception of time passing accelerates as we age. When you were a kid, sitting for 20 minutes in the corner (or 60 minutes for a church service) seemed worthy of some mid-range circle of hell. School days dragged on forever, but when you were done, you had a seemingly limitless time period in which you could ride your bike aimlessly through the neighborhood, carouse with friends, blow things up, etc., before it was time for dinner. Birthdays and Christmas seemed to arrive with every other passing of Haley's comet.

But as an adult, waiting 20 minutes for something isn't so bad anymore. There's plenty of random crap going through my head where you can self-entertain or just zone out for that time and the next thing you know, the wait is over. There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them. (Thank you, Jim Croce.) Seasons and seasonal events come and go so quickly that you have to think for a moment every time someone asks you how old you are.

I figure that, by the time you're 70 and completely bored with your earthly existence, the years are flying by so quickly that things like your grandchildren aging a la time-lapse photography keep you going.

BTW, a theoretical physicist recently discovered that time flows both forward and backward, but our brains are only wired to experience the forward motion... So the general notion of time passing is arbitrary anyway.

Rachel Ann said...

My wedding felt over and done before it even started. I enjoyed and savored the pre-parties, but the actual wedding was gone in a flash. This is why you hire a photographer.