Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's About Time

"Question:  How contrive not to waste one's time?

Answer:  By being fully aware of it all the while."                         ~ Albert Camus

I came across this quote last week while searching for quotes about time to kick start some journaling.  Why time?  Because I got tired of hearing myself asking, "Where has the time gone?".  And I seem to be asking that question a lot lately. 

There's been the obvious events that's got me thinking about the passage of time - an impending birthday, seeing friends we haven't seen in over 10 years (10 years!), underestimating a nephew's age, looking in the mirror and seeing my mother's face looking back at me.  But it's been the small, daily reminders that have been niggling at me - the arrival of a new edition of a magazine when I haven't read last month's yet, tearing off another page from the calendar, hearing that someone younger than I am has passed away, or simply noticing it's later than I thought on going to bed while having accomplished only half of what I had intended.

So I've begun to pay greater attention to how I spend this valuable resource called time.  And it is not easy!  Some things I already know - that I am easily distracted, that I spend more time on the enjoyable pastimes, and far less on something that I dislike (think cleaning toilets!) and that I lose track of time when talking with someone I love.  But I am also learning some new tricks for this old dog - that by simply paying attention, by being more aware I have more control of the distractions.  That my father was right - it is easier to avoid temptations than resist them.  That, perhaps, time means something totally different in your 70's than in your 30's anyway!  And, perhaps, the most valuable AHA - that in any transition, one of the greatest challenges is to learn new ways to spend time.

I wonder, can anyone really be aware of time "all the while"?  For now, however, I'm just trying to be more attentive.


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