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Time Waits for No One

Updated on July 25, 2014
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The Truth of Time

Time moves so quickly these days. Minutes pass in what seems like nothing more than seconds. Moments are stolen when my eyes close in the predawn hours before the blaring of the alarm clock. The hours spent before work seem to be gone in a flash. While work is busy and productive, pieces start missing. Entire evenings drift by in nothing more than mere moments. You look at the clock once, then look at it again and fifteen minutes have passed. An hour. Four hours. Everything seems different, and if I'm not careful, I'm afraid that I will lose all sense of time for good.

Time drags when stuck in traffic. When stuck with the rigorous schedule of five forty hour days. When facing the dream of a vacation that seems improbable - if not unlikely. Things are different. I seem to lose the sense that I'm accomplishing a purpose - reaching for something. My best intentions are left by the side of the road as the endless drumbeat marches continually on.

I want some moments to last forever. I want to remember the smell of my wife's hair when she crawls back into bed after an early morning shower. She's strange like that, getting up early to shower and then enjoying an extra hour of sleep. I'm more of a night bather. When I soak in the tub and read a book, it's easy to forget how long its been until the water has already grown cold,and my toes have turned to raisins in the lukewarm, tepid water.

As I write, more minutes have passed. I've lost track of the plot of a favorite TV show, and the words playing in the background run together into one unintelligible run-on sentence. The people are smiling, and it reminds me to find the time to experience joy - not in the meticulously planned set of circumstances, but in the quiet moments that appear unexpectedly and are gone without a trace once an additional second has passed.

Not all who wander are lost, but I find myself drifting on a day to day basis, futilely reaching for one stolen moment to the next. I look forward to things that seem so important at the time, but quickly fade to past memories when examined retrospectively. Such is the nature of time. It marches ever forward, and responds only to its internal beat. One must make the time to be truly appreciative and awe-struck by the reality of their own surroundings. It doesn't happen naturally - although it can take you by surprise when it's the least expected. I saw a rainbow hovering in the sky when stuck on a bridge in an endless traffic barrage. It seemed to hover, to move in a gradually increasing scope like it was following my car. It wasn't of course, but it was an important lesson on shifting perceptions and how the way I view my reality often changes - and I never saw it coming.

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The Miniscule Army

They say time waits for no man. That much is true. It marches on, regardless of plans, dreams, hopes or aspirations. There are 60 seconds in a minute. 60 minutes in an hour. 24 hours in a day. Each day consists of 86,400 little soldiers, marching in unison to the beat of a very relentless drummer. It's all about perspective, and if you don't take the time to acknowledge these rare and glorious moments, its easy to become lost in them completely. They keep happening, whether you acknowledge them or not. The last thing in the world that I would want is to look back at the end of it all and see so much waste. How many times did I stop to appreciate the songbird that woke me up early on a Saturday morning? How much time did I spend in the company of those near and dear to my heart, showing them rather than telling them my heart-felt gratitude and appreciation. How much time did I waste on something trivial when I could have been making a difference? I try to live a life free of most regrets, but some are unfortunately inevitable.


I'm struck by the sheer magnitude of time that it takes to accomplish simple tasks: filling the cats water bowl, preparing a meal, commuting to and from work. While my mind constantly interacts with these seemingly superficial tasks, it often drifts away entirely. It's only later that I realize that I've made an important decision unknowingly or solved a problem that I was potentially facing. These moments - the ones that almost get lost in the shuffle at the outset - are the moments that truly matter. These are the moments that will live on in my memory even after they've been long overrun by a multitude of additional second-soldiers, waiting to carry me off in the tide of a progressive loop of tomorrows - until these tomorrows stop.

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Understanding the Minuscule Moments

Although time marches on until one day it suddenly ceases, it carries a sweet sort of innocent beauty. It's something to rely on, even when captured maintaining a grueling task. The seconds tick by as I correct errors, or teach a new co-worker new tricks. As the second hand ticks relentlessly towards a predetermined position on the clock, a whole new world awaits outside of the doors. Long awaited plans become reality. Trips to the store are adventures into the wide unknown when anything can happen and the possibilities are limitless. That smile that lights up the whole world is waiting for just the right dose of humor, as we uncover a new truth about our favorite fictional characters. New history is waiting to be written as we uncover the secrets of the past, and our own history is just beginning - one moment, one choice, one opportunity at a time. Instead of waiting for our times to someday come to an end, it's about the decisions that we make in the here and now, grasping life by the horns and writing our own destinies in every given moment, regardless of where it takes us or what adventures we encounter along the way.

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    • ladydeonne profile image

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      JMcFarland,

      I found your hub very interesting and something I could relate to. I also found it very sad. It seems that you are caught up in the" business" of every day life instead of life itself. As a young woman I too was like a rat on a treadmill. I flitted from on thing to the next thinking there was never enough time in a day to all of the things that I thought I "HAD" to do. I learned to slow down and to be mindful of all tasks and activities I engaged in when I started the practice of Buddism. I learned to sit and meditate for hours without moving or talking or being distracted. I then learned to live "in the moment" and to find joy be grateful for each and every moment I am breathing as I began to value my life and to no longer take it for granted. I stopped stressing over being late work often speeding and getting tickets. I learned that there is no shortage of time when you are filled with joy and when you do even the most mundane things in a mindful way. When your alarm goes off in the morning thank God that you are awake and alive to see another day. As you shower and get ready for work, be appreciative of the hot water the cloth and towel you use to wash and dry your wonderfully made body. Be mindful as you eat your breakfast and as you greet your family. You get the picture. As you go about your work day be thankful that you have a a job and the means to take care of yourself and your family if you have on. If you are fully concentrating on the task at hand, you will not be worrying about the time or your next task. Try living in the moment and doing one thing at a time. Try being grateful for everything that you do while doing it. Be mindful of your breathing. Be grateful for each breath you take. Your breathing validates that you are alive. When you stop breathing you are dead.....and your time on this earth is ended. So,use your time LIVING, no obsessing over time.

    • JMcFarland profile image
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      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Thank you so much for your insightful and kind comment and advice. I take it to heart, and am definitely in the process of learning to express gratitude for the little things that matter so much more than the hectic, normal schedule.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 4 years ago from Tasmania

      I hear what you say about time, JMcF. As I am getting older now, the days fly by like they have chopped hours off each end.

      The weeks are so short now.... no sooner have we reached Monday morning, then it's already Friday night again.

      Same with the year..... Autumn follows Christmas, but Hey! did Christmas actually happen? (Sorry, I'm in the Southern Hemisphere).

      When I was in the work force, a morning seemed to drag on and it was ages before the relief of Lunch Break happened..... especially if the job I was doing got boring.

      When we in school years, the terms seemed like endless, undefinable compulsory destinations of dislike, each day having its fears and worries.

      Christmas then was a wonderful happening, because Mum and Dad (particularly Mum) had it all under control and the presents simply arrived. Year after year really, but a year then was a theory for a young child's mind, nothing real.

      But now! time is short. So much I would still love to do, but which ones to aim at? Which is priority? Before things turn decrepit and full of crippling arthritis?

    • JMcFarland profile image
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      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Thanks for stopping bywith such a thought provoking comment, Johnny. You have to make the time for the things that truly matter, and attempt to live well with few regrets.

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