“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
This month, I’ve wasted a bit of time thinking about time.
Earlier in the month, I sat in my wifi-less apartment thinking of ways to pass the time. But, in the past few weeks, I have never pinched my pennies of time so desperately— a spare minute here to review for a class, an hour there to finish a paper, another late night and another early morning, a deadline pushed back to complete a blog post.
In other words, Time has flown.
But really, have you realized how many other words we use when we talk about time?
We carve out time and then kill time and crunch time before something else eats up our time.
Time is money. Maybe we don’t have spare time to give each other the time of day, because we choose to spend time on something else, in case we run out of time.
It’s high time we were on time to be behind the times while on over time. Are we in time or in a time out? Can I have some time off?
Do we have time on our hands that hangs heavy? Are we pressed for time in no time flat?
Let’s make some time, if we can find the time; it will save time later, just don’t lose track of time in the meantime.
I like to think of time personified. Father Time biding his time as he dreams our existence. Can we take Time by the forelock, before he darts away like a thief in the night?
Because, Time, that cheat, waits for no one.
* * *
Time isn’t food, money, a place, or a feeling, or an object or a person—it just is. Despite a wealth of idioms, it’s still hard to talk about time and harder still to savor it.
But I recently got some wisdom on that score from an interview I listened to with John O’Donohue, a poet, priest, and philosopher. Here’s what he said about time:
“A huge difficulty in modern life is that time has become the enemy . . .
Stress is a perverted relationship to time.”
The sentence stopped me in my tracks, and the quote has been rattling in my brain ever since. Time has been my enemy of late. Instead of fretting to myself about my poor time management (though the work to be done in that department is undeniable), maybe I just need to get into a better relationship with time. This means remembering the holy cycles of the year outside of my weekdays and weekends and semesters. And finding the times that are ripe for work and times that are right for rest. It might also mean setting aside times to forget about time and just be.
After a trial-by-fire year as public school substitute teacher and fly-by-night freelancer, Julia will shed the tribulations of the work-world to embark on a MA in art history and museum studies at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. If you are in town, she’ll gladly take you to a local museum. She enjoys walks, leopard print, and good conversation.