"I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!"
Alice in Wonderland
Time’s a fickle thing. In one moment, you’re sprinting across the street, frantically waving down the bus, hoping that you won’t be late. In another, you’re sitting in line at the doctor’s, bored beyond belief. It moves fast; it moves slow. It moves at whatever pace it wants. At least that’s what it feels like. We assign it this arbitrary unitary value known as a second. 60 seconds make a minute; 60 minutes make an hour; 24 hours make a day, so on an so forth. Yet for something that we try so hard to structuralize and master, we seem to ever be at the mercy of an untameable beast.
Everyone figures out at some point or other that time passes quickly and unnoticed when there’s a good time to be had. When things are dull, boring, or otherwise unenjoyable, time slows to a crawl. It befuddles the mind how a single second can feel both arduously slow today, yet blink-of-an-eye quick tomorrow. In our efforts to conquer this omnipresent element of life, scientists and philosophers alike throw about theories as to what time is. Time is linear; time is non-linear; time can bend; space and time are one and the same. That’s what’s out there. But here’s a tough question: Regardless of our level of understanding and love/hate relationship with it, how should we really approach it?
"Live life to the fullest"- a maxim oft quoted to inspire us to seize the day, waste no sunlight, and enjoy our life in the short amount of time we have. Have something to say? Say it. Sudden craving for a French baguette? Why not go buy and nom on one? Don’t hold back. Go forth and do things.
"Remember to stop and smell the roses"- another popular maxim quoted to remind us that despite all the hustle and bustle of life, we should take our time to enjoy life’s pleasures. Walk slower as your getting to school or work to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air out. Take some time to admire the sunset; sure you see one everyday, but that’s only once every 86 400 seconds. Pause, relax, and enjoy.
It’s easy to feel that these words contradict each other at times. How are we to slow down to enjoy every moment when there’s so much to be done to enjoy life to the fullest? Sure we’d all just love to be able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures like the birds and the breeze but we just don’t have time these days. There’s school, work, homework, chores, civic duties, and a smorgasbord of other things that need to be done. How do we live life without well, living it by doing things?
But really, the two sayings complement each other. Living life to the fullest means that along the journey of life, you’ve got to stop to smell the roses, feel the warmth of the sun on your face, and hear the birds’ whistles carry through the breeze. It’s making the time time, not taking the time, to do all these little things that makes life just that much richer.
So is time on our side? Friend or foe? Who knows? But we’ll live with it and make the best of our time. Carry on with life and remember to live it to the fullest and remember to stop to smell the roses. :)