Time is certainly an oddity, isn’t it! Two minutes ago, I was starting the day and thinking about writing about time and how fluid it can be. It’s now almost 7:00 in the evening a week later! How does that happen?
I read once that there are two types of time: real time and perceived time. Real time is the kind that can be measured by clocks and calendars. Perceived time is how we think of it.
For example – occasionally, I drive out to Tribune. It’s a three-hour trip in real time. When I started going out there a few years ago, it took five hours in perceived time. I thought I would never get there! Lately, however, it seems to only take an hour or two. The real time stays the same, but the perceived time can change a lot!
I find this works especially when I’m cleaning house. When it comes time to prune my house plants, I hate the thought of doing it because I think it will take a long time – probably an hour! But, once I get started, it goes quickly! I can clean up a fairly large plant in only an hour! Why is it that the hour seems so long when I first start something but when I finish it, it seems to have gone quickly?
They used to say that, if your days were long and your weeks were short, you were happy in your work. I’ve had jobs like that – the days took forever to get through, but the months flew by! I’ve also had jobs where the days flew but the weeks dragged!
One of the problems with perceived time is that I have a hard time remembering what day I’m on – forget about knowing the time it is! I can be working along, going through my morning routine and my evening routine and the next thing I know, it’s Sunday and I’m starting a whole new week! It doesn’t help that many businesses, as well as retail stores, are open on Sundays.
Some communities used to observe Blue Laws where everything shut down on Sunday and I used to live in one. It was easier to tell when it was Sunday because I couldn’t get gas for my car!
One of the nice things about perceived time is that I stopped aging several years ago. I’m not sure how old I am but I think I’ve been the same age for about five years – and my age isn’t 29! I’ve had a lot more fun since I turned 60! If I want to do something, I’m still young enough to give it a try. If I don’t want to do it, I’m suddenly an old lady – which I think has more to do with general health than age!
The other thing I’ve heard about time – and I believe this to be true – is that time is our most precious commodity. I read Motorcycle Mary’s School of Finance, written by Mary McCune and self-published in 2003. She made an excellent point about how every dollar we spend represents a section of our lives. If we earn $10/hour and we spend $10 on eating out at a favorite restaurant, that’s one hour of our life that we are trading for that meal. She talks about how important it is to weigh what we purchase carefully because we’re giving pieces of our lives for the purchase. I kind of wish I’d heard that philosophy when I was younger – but better late than never!