Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In two years

This is my 104th weekly column: two years. I am humbled and honored by the fact that you have helped me reach this landmark. It is the way that with milestones, come reflections.

I am not whom I was upon the commencement of this journey; I view the world in a different way. Although always curious, I am now more observant and analytical. I do not watch, I witness; seeking clarification, striving to make sense, always on alert for sparks of understanding and illumination that I can share via these pages. It is a way of connecting. It is also an educational, fascinating, enjoyable - albeit sometimes difficult - process. I rarely regret it.

Experience has led me to believe that the speed at which time passes is more perception than reality. We disappoint and set ourselves up to fail upon forgetting this vital lesson: Time accelerates when we enjoy its process; it lags when we struggle. In reality, time is what time is. How we feel about what we do adjusts the perceived speed of its passage.

When I was brand new, each morning was a fresh miracle cast in a yellow-orange hue. When I was that young, two years was forever. It was painful to count the days between vacations or holidays. To realize that I had to wait even a week to go to a birthday party was excruciating. Time crawled. The clock dragged. Because youthful energy made me eager to "get on with it," I struggled with the pace of life, and consequently, it jammed in slow motion.

It is human nature to want more, or to desire something better. Improved health, more understanding, increased prosperity - we know we will not "get there" in a day. There are a great many lessons to be learned. But because we so crave what we don't have, acquiring it seems to "take forever." We struggle and lament the process. In effect, we "slow down" the time it takes to be there. On the other hand, focusing on the joys of the lesson, the excitement of new knowledge, and the pride of accomplishment, causes time to flow without a hitch.

There is no small amount of irony here. Those things I want to do and enjoy go by in a blink. Chores and lessons won't get past me fast enough. Alas, accepting life on its own terms is yet another key to contentment.

I do know because I enjoy life, that "two years from now" will feel like it has arrived tomorrow. The previous two whooshed by at light speed, leaving me unsure they were even here.

Whatever I want to do next must begin immediately, as tomorrow is almost past.

1 comment:

writerdeman said...

There's a lot of truth to what you say. Have you ever read the book, Writing In Flow? The author, Susan K. Perry, comments on how when you are "in flow" time passes almost without your knowing it. Being in flow is not only connected to writing, but also happens when a child is absorbed in watching an anthill or something similar, when there is no concept of the passing of time. It's that act of being fully engaged and intellectually stimulated that seems to me is the best example of time flying. I enjoyed your essay or blog, or whatever you like to call it. You're a good writer.
Jeanne Nooney, New Orleans