Douglas Adams said the title for today's post. It came up on my "quotes of the day" feed I have for my iGoogle home page. I thought, how fitting is this idea: the seemingly absence of time.
Everyday at work I listen to the click of my heels against the commercial tile as I race down the glass corridor back and forth from the office to my classroom to guidance to the library. The students (and faculty) all know it's me coming because they can hear me from a mile away. I walk faster in a 2" heel than some people run a mile in comfortable tennis shoes. I often play the tune for the Wicked Witch of the West in my head (you know the one - da da da da da na num, da da da da da na num) as I pummel through the crowds of students seeking my destination. I admit, the hallway often clears as I'm coming not because they fear me (although some say they do) but because I'm moving freakishly fast and they don't want to be run over. Science holds true for Newton's First Law: an object in motion will stay in motion at the same speed and force unless acted upon by the sum of physical forces. Since they notably walk at a snail's pace the odds are against them when I fly by. My student aide recently noted that she can tell when I'm in the hallway coming at warp speed because there's a small break in the traffic crowd, like a small bubble around my frame.
That made me laugh out loud. Not at the idea of the sea of students parting in my presence, but why am I always moving so fast? What am I in such a hurry for? I think many people can resonate with this idea, rushing here, there, and everywhere and then upon arrival wondering: Why was I in such a hurry? I really think this when I arrive at my dentist or doctor and subsequently WAIT for 30-45 minutes for an appointment I broke speed limits to arrive at on time. Our society moves fast all the time and we often make fun of those that don't move fast, learn fast, write fast, think fast, drive fast, run fast, eat fast, and the list goes on.
Recently, I have started slowing down trying to find more of the elusive idea of time. I must admit, it took major effort on my behalf and I still catch myself flying through the hallways (theme music in tow) and force myself to stop, breath, and then walk at a normal pace. The biggest reason for this decision is that when I tried to pinpoint why I was always going 90 to nothing, I could not find a good answer. Sure, I have deadlines and expectations dangling over me like the rest of the world, but I'm meeting them days before their due, not hours or minutes, but days. I do not always need to be in fast forward.
If you ask my parents, they'll say I've always been this way. 15 going on 35 when I was in high school, always wanting to get ahead, move ahead, be ahead, jump time. It's an admirable trait when working to meet a goal. I've accomplished many things in my life by pushing myself harder and faster than those around me. But, at 34 years old, as a wife, a mother, a teacher, and an aspiring writer, I need to slow down and take stock in what I am, what I've done, and what I've become. I need to pause to enjoy all that I've flown through in my life time rather than continuing to breeze past these ideas looking for the next goal to tackle.
This brings me back to the idea of time and why it seems so evasive? Even now as I look at the clock, I think where did the time go? I got up at 7:00a and it's now 8:30a - what have I done this morning that took an hour and a half? Nothing. I made coffee, let out the dogs, surfed my Facebook account, and now I sit posting this blog. A hour, just gone. And the clock continues to tick as I sit here typing. Today I want time to slow down because it's Saturday, but it will not, it will charge on without me and if I don't move with it, I will be left behind. But on Monday, I will want time to fly by simply because I want Saturday to roll around again. The bottom line: there are always 24 hours in a day. They move at the same speed every day, 60 seconds equals a minute and 60 minutes equals an hour. Twenty-four hours equals a day and before you know it 6-months have flown by and you're wondering where did they go?
Taking the time to realize that I don't need to push the clock 24/7 has allowed me to enjoy my life more. I pay attention to rain and flowers. I exercise. I water the plants now, I watch movies with my son. I've made technology my friend in the form of a DVR and I watch shows when I feel like it. I read more, loading my Kindle up all the time, and I enjoy what I read rather than flying through the pages trying to get to the next book as if how many books you read is some sort of contest. I blog. I've learned to ignore other people's ideas of me, a MAJOR time theft in my life, and I am finally learning to be comfortable with who I am and that's a good thing. And with taking time to do all these things, I am still meeting deadlines ahead of the scheduled time, kicking myself for now understanding I could have been doing this all along.
Monday I will arrive at school and slowly emerge from my car taking in the sights and sounds of my educational domain. I will walk, not run, but walk to my classroom and put away my things. I will eat a bowl of oatmeal and sip my coffee and chat with my co-teachers because papers that need to be graded can wait until my planning period, the words on the paper won't change. And while I will still scarf down my lunch in 20 minutes, because it's all the time I'm allotted, I will attempt to enjoy it more. Ferris Bueller said, "life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
I couldn't have said it better myself. I will, no doubt, still struggle with moving too fast, pushing myself, and flying though life but for today, I'm going to enjoy the time I have. You should do the same.