July 12, 2012
“The Time of Our Lives”
My friend Jerry wants to slow down July… and August, too. Summer is going by way too fast for him. I agree 100%, not just about summer, but about time in general. When I was a kid I used to thoughtlessly wish time away. I couldn’t wait for an upcoming party, to be done with the school year, to go away on a vacation. During a difficult period I just want to fast forward to a better place. In fact the idea of time travel has appealed to me since childhood, when I read one of my favorite books ,“A Wrinkle in Time.” As I get older, I’m learning that wishing away bad times isn’t a clever strategy. Instead, I want to make each day count.
We describe time in so many ways: time is of the essence, killing time, wasting time, making time, once upon a time, time to go, lunchtime, dinnertime, nap time, quiet time, quality time, down time, timely, a stitch in time saves nine, just in time, it’s about time, in the nick of time, time flies by, time and again, time waits for no man, a matter of time, wintertime, summertime. The list is as endless as time.
I remember looking at the clock during a certain boring ninth grade Chumash class. Time was crawling or even moving backwards; no matter how often I checked, the minute hand was stuck in place. Going to a doctor’s appointment is like that, too. Waiting for my turn, fearfully anticipating being checked, wishing it was over. Not much to do about that, or is there? As a mom I was able to fix that for my kids, reading or playing with them at the doctor’s office, chatting about nonsense to keep their minds off the blood test or shot (even though I was turning white and trying not to pass out). When I go for my own appointments, I try to focus on my reading; a magazine, book or some Tehilim chapters help remove my negative thoughts and fill my mind with better material.
When something is a struggle, time crawls by. When you’re enjoying a moment, it slips away so quickly into the past. I can hear the Steve Miller Band singing, “time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.” We have all experienced how quickly a great celebration happily speeds up time while (le’havdil) a hospital visit or worse slows it down painfully. One doesn’t have to be Einstein to philosophize about the relativity of time.