Father Time 

Maxine Stone
Maxine Stone

The start of the new year invariably gets me thinking, What’s it all about?

As Mark Twain said, “We spend half our lives trying to find something to do with the time we rush through life trying to save.”

So, where has all the time I saved gone? The five minutes I save taking the short cut to Northern Boulevard is barely a blip in the scheme of things. Is time a commodity that you can save like money? Is it a nebulous abstract moment that disappears each time the hands on the clock go around?

I’m becoming aware that it’s ridiculous to save time. All the traumas and dramas in life, such as finding a mate, looking for a job, bringing up kids and struggling with money problems, will be resolved one way or another. The end result of rushing around is agita. I usually end up wasting time instead of saving it.

16762-illustration-of-a-clock-pvI could have saved time if I eliminated that stop at the bank and instead used the Internet. I would have saved time if I put a zipper in that coat in place of those crummy buttons. I could drink a special concoction with all the necessary nutrients so I wouldn’t have to waste time eating meals. If I took a pill that would keep me full all day, I could avoid grocery shopping. But, where would the enjoyment be? I like food and love to cook. Oy! Thinking about saving all this time gives me indigestion. I think I better relax.

Imagine all those saved minutes accumulated in a box. In retrospect, what would I do with them? They might wither away for lack of use and be wasted.

Think of Father Time with his long beard, white robe and scythe in hand. What’s he cutting out with that blade? Who is he cheating out of years of productive life?

The pages of a calendar flutter as they turn from one month to another, illustrating the passage of time in movies. The purpose is saving the audience from boring interludes.

In Alice in Wonderland, the White Rabbit says, “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date.” With all that rushing, when he gets to his appointment, what happened to the time he saved?

Timepieces subtly inform us that we are getting older. Cuckoo clocks popping in and out drive us nuts letting us know we are racing toward the inevitable. Grandfather clocks bong away, marking another hour that has passed. It’s just so annoying.

Wait a moment, does this discourse sound like a Philosophy 101 class? That’s not my intention. There is a kernel of wisdom here. To me, the examples of fleeting time illustrate the need to relish and enjoy the experiences I have as they come along—in the moment, as they say. A kvetch or two doesn’t count.

Don’t scoff at those who say, “Slow down and smell the roses.” Those calendar pages are turning faster and faster. It’s up to you to slow them down. Happy New Year!

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