Although my days are generally less busy than when I wrote this, I still dream (often!) of stopping time, at just the right moments.
During a day that I have a lot to accomplish, I routinely glance at the clock hoping it will serve as a gauge to the great progress that I have made. What it shows, instead hurls me into a confused panic; the amount of time, that seemed abundant in theory, has yet again slipped away and taken with it the very limited opportunity I had to achieve my unfinished tasks.
I’m certain it used to take longer for time to pass, but surely the 24 hours of a day that meld into the seven days of a week have not actually changed in length…have they?
I have realized over time – less than it seems – that I have fallen victim to a bitter and simple irony; long ago, during the days that I had plenty of time I didn’t need any extra, and now that I have none I need a whole lot more.
Should I just accept it as a matter of fact that the busier life gets, the more quickly time passes?
As the parent of two hockey players, I spend a fair amount of time in arenas, paying close attention to the time clock during games. As play stops for a few seconds or minutes, I sometimes find myself wistfully thinking about how gloriously wonderful it would be to simply tap a button, and time, over which we have absolutely no control, would temporarily cease to march on.
Just imagine if the number of hours in our days, if we so chose, could actually be doubled.
Sleeping in would lose the negative connotation it has, in my sleep-deprived opinion, unfairly acquired; we could actually waste (or…use otherwise) only half of the time that would ordinarily be wasted (or…used otherwise).
When the kids are running late for the bus, we could yell, like the parent in the stands when the timekeeper misses a ref’s call, “Stop the clock!” Then time (and the school bus) would stand still until back packs are slung over shoulders, shoes are tied and last minute wishes for a good day are hollered, along with kids, out the door.
By employing, lets say, roughly the same calculation as a hockey game, one hour would become two, thereby extending the all-too-brief period of time between our kids’ bedtimes and our own. Wouldn’t it be novel and exciting to spend at least part of an evening on our “like to’s”, rather than always focusing on “must do’s?”
We’d make weekends longer, but leave weekdays as they are…I never said the process would be logical, so yes, we can have one without the other.
Holidays would last indefinitely, as could a day at the beach during …ah, summer!
We could actually chat with friends, rather than merely arranging pick up or drop off times that most efficiently manage our kids’ hectic schedules, while attempting to jam our own obligations into whatever time is left.
And asking new friends what they like to do in their spare time might even yield a response other than an exasperated, wide-eyed, “Are you kidding me?”
Eventually though, we would realize that the clock is not the only culprit, because it works in quiet conjunction with another indicator of the speed of time. The calendar hangs inconspicuously flat and quiet against the wall, and somewhere between 28 and 31 days, strikes mercilessly, as we are forced to flip the page and embark upon a new month.
But wouldn’t it be great if we could erase certain obligations, and as the ink disappears, so too would any commitments that we would prefer not have?
Nah…THAT would never work.
originally published in the Waterloo Region Record