If you’re anything like me you’ve probably felt that some days, weeks, and months of your life passed by in the blink of an eye. In other seasons, perhaps difficult ones, time can seem to decelerate to the point that you find yourself stuck in moments you wish would pass.
Over the course of the past twenty-three years as I’ve worked at a corporate job my sense of time passing has changed. In the early years I managed to work, take care of my family, and stay in touch with the world around me. I delighted in the magical Christmas season, rejoiced in spring’s miracles, and appreciated cool and crisp fall mornings when they arrived.
But something changed along the way.
One day it would seem as if I was waking from a catatonic state where I had been functioning on auto-pilot and realize that months had passed by. I would see lilac blossoms dried and withered on the tree and realize I hadn’t stopped to inhale their sweet perfume. I’d see snow falling and remember I hadn’t bought apples and made pies, and that now it was too late.
In more recent years my sense of living out of step with time has gotten worse.
I’ve had a sense of living under a constant, and heavy, blanket of stress as deadlines loomed and piles of work and projects grew larger. I’ve been focused on the future, ever conscious of looming due dates. Today the calendar says it’s December 2012 on the calendar but my mind has been in 2013 for at least six months because a much of the work I do culminates next year.
Now I’m on this countdown to retirement and I find myself thinking about the number of months before we move Canada to be nearer to our family–how many links are left on our retirement countdown chain. (There are fourteen links left.)
I read an article recently on one of my new favorite blogs, Satisfying Retirement, that posed the question: Is retirement time the same as working time? that explored the question of whether time unfolds differently when one is retired. The author, who has been retired for eleven years, finds that time is different for him in retirement. Instead of waking up and finding weeks and months have passed he now appreciates time and makes deliberate choices about how to spend it.
I enjoyed this article, and cling to the promise that time will right itself when I retire. In the meantime I’m challenging myself to stay in the present. Today. This moment.
What about you? What’s your relationship with time? Has it changed over the years?