Since when did time start speeding up?
For years the years seem to have been passing by more rapidly than the last. As a child, I remember adults commenting on how quickly I had grown, and how time was flying, but never really got it.
As children, time is such a fascinating and sometimes frustrating concept. As children, we’d clock-watch all day at school, waiting for the bell at the end of the day – the days seemed to drag. In the run-up to our birthdays, we’d count the weeks and days, hurrying them along so that we’d get to that magical day that was our very own special day. Our birthdays couldn’t come around quickly enough, and it seemed like an absolute eternity until the next one.
But now. Now, the hours merge into days which merge into weeks and months and so on. Work days are never long enough to get everything done. Some of us curse our birthdays; a sign that we’re getting older, that we’re one step nearer being a perceived less of a person than we currently are. Time is running out. If I stop to think about it for too long, it saddens me greatly.
Time is totally out of our control. We can’t slow it down, we can’t stop it and we certainly can’t turn it back. We get once chance at this, one chance to make our mark, to achieve, to create our life… to live.
It was just last night that I was staring at my huge year planner on the wall in front of me, as I sat in bed ready for sleep. It felt like that planner was taunting me, laughing at me and daring me to close my eyes, for in a few hours, yet another day on that planner would be no longer. The 24th June 2015 was almost gone – for good. June. It didn’t feel that long ago that we had begun to get used to writing ‘2015’ instead of ‘2014’, and yet we’re at the end of June, halfway through this year. Halfway through another year.
Pausing to consider ‘time’ makes me particularly sad when I think about my parents. Statistically, I’m likely to lose my parents before I lose anyone else I love. As these days, weeks, months and years fly by, it is less time I have left to soak up the joyous, irreplaceable company of my parents. This fact leaves me feeling irrevocably lost. Yet, it does have a positive effect in that it motivates me to cherish my time spent with them, and indeed to spend as much time as I can with them (the feeling may not be mutual on their part!).
I hope that my kids grow to cherish my husband and I as much as I cherish my parents. This is not for selfish reasons – not for accolades. No, the reason I cherish my parents so is a true testament to how they excelled as parents. They weren’t perfect – nobody is – but they weren’t far off.
They worked hard throughout their working lives, yet always seemed to have time for me. To be honest, I don’t even know what that means – I couldn’t honestly tell you if my parents sat down with me for hours on end playing games and entertaining me. I suspect they didn’t. But I never felt side-lined by anything, or that they weren’t there for me when I needed them. They had time.
And time is something I feel that we as a society have less and less of. This is why I worry that my children won’t necessarily have the same feeling of us being there for them as I did of my parents. Ironically, I gave up my career to give my kids my time. For the most part, I believe I’m achieving this. I care for them all day, each day. But like everyone, I have work to do – housework, shopping, chores, working from home writing. My kids pull on my heart strings big time – making requests that I ‘come back’ if I leave the room to load the dishwasher, or making requests that I ‘come in the living room’ to draw a volcano.
Perhaps these little interactions are forgotten over the years, as I don’t recall my parents telling me about the time I begged them to come and sit with me while I built a tower. But these interactions happen to me now, every single day, and are a constant reminder that I have no control over time. That I cannot pause the time so that I can have unadulterated play with my kids and not worry about responding to an email or that the washing is going mouldy in the washing machine.
I guess there is nothing I can do to change this, except try and work smarter – make every hour count. Don’t waste my time on things that aren’t important. Organise myself better. Get up earlier, go to bed later. Cook fish fingers more often. Purchase a DeLorean.
Do you feel as though time is passing by faster as you get older?