It takes time for hurts to be forgiven, for a heart to heal. It takes time for a house to be a home, for a connection to be a commitment.
I was always aware of time, keeping close watch on deadlines, setting time frames, being on time. This ‘trait’ of being punctual and fulfilling obligations in time is a motivator for many of the things I did. In some ways, it was a blessing as I have achieved many things in life driven by this elusive concept of time. And it had also placed many pressures on me, some in hindsight so needless.
Watching children grow, and having certain expectations of how they ought to be “by this time” – whether they are 5, 10 or 15 years old – is laughable. Setting time frames on natural development of a life has come about in the last century – with books on the developmental milestones of little persons taken as gospel truths. A guide is not a standard. And these so-called “standards” get worse as they grow, from how mature a child ought to be by a certain age, to what experiences they ought to have encountered, what behaviour they ought or ought not exhibit… in order to be an ‘enough’ person.
Time marches on regardless of a person’s progress. What does a woman in her 40s ought to possess, to have done, to behave, to be considered successful in life? Or fulfilled in life? Looking at the years past, there have been paths not taken, wrong turns, joyous rides, proud moments, accidental encounters, courageous retreats… and they happen with time. They were not events to which time is the driver, quite the contrary. Yet they are the still life which are most remembered or cherished.
I have learnt patience, of letting time runs its course. Heck, I have no control over it! I have also learnt to take care of myself, to do what I desire, what I will, what I must in the best way possible without the spectre of time on me.
Life has been slow and fast at various points of this life but none as the last 12 months (that I can remember :-)).
It has been slow as I had only been able to present on each moment at a time, taking one step after the next without looking too far as that future had been overwhelming. In that I learnt a valuable lesson in mindfulness, in finally knowing time waits for no one nor does it rush. Enough is being the best I can be in that moment. Finally, I realise the fallacy of “missing out” if we don’t rush on, if we don’t grab every opportunity presented “just in case”. What is right is only right if it is right with me.
The past 12 months have also been fast. Measuring by the magnitude of accomplishments, the height of joy, the depth of sadness, the immensity of feelings and degree of resolute focus needed, I have lived more years in the last one year than I thought possible for me. What a lesson in the enormity of human capacity, because we are not that different, you and I.
We experience time in its passing through our lives – growing, maturing, aging and death, focus and intention, love and loss, happiness and sorrow; through the cycles of the natural world; and the decay of human-made objects. We don’t see time, it is not concrete.
Time is a relative concept, as physicists can attest. It is always moving and always static. Always forward, irreversible and parallel to our human living.
What motivates us ought to be more than a concept, don’t you think?
So as we approach the new year, for us I wish a year of timeless soul-deep intention, passionate being and meaningful doing.
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