Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Time



As a topic, time has been hashed and rehashed, dramatized and philosophized, loved and resented. It's certainly not an original subject, but still, that's what I want to talk about today.

I am frustrated at this "time" creature lately. Or rather, I'm more frustrated then usual. We always have to deal with time, all the time - ha! It's nothing new. It's like a..... oh, I don't know. Pick your own analogy. An unruly dog. Any cat. A toddler. The wind. It seems to get away from us. We are constantly looking for it or trying to catch up with it. It's demanding and won't leave us alone. It distracts us, worries us, and never does what we ask it to do.

We can't make time go faster when we are impatient. We can't slow it down when we find a moment of bliss. We can't make it stop while we take a breather or ponder our next step. We can't make time rewind regardless of our need, or grief, or regret. We can't affect it in any way at all. We can only try to ride it, like a wave, and hope we can stay on our feet most of the time.

Mostly, I'm frustrated that there isn't enough time. Or more to the point, that I can't move fast enough through it. No. That's not what I mean. I don't want time to move faster, good grief, no. I want to be able to fit more into each minute, hour, day, year.

Maybe I'm frustrated at how little control I have over how I spend my time. The year has barely begun and already my calendar has begun to fill up from March all the way through to December and most of it is not dates of my own choosing, but obligations, albeit some happy, some just... obligations.

On a micro level, my days seem equally out of my control lately, time chopped up into little bits and pieces that aren't terribly useful. Like yesterday, I theoretically had an empty schedule, but by the time I had dealt with family, pets, a gremlin in my e-mail software, and a couple of errands, WOOSH!, the day was pretty much done. Today I have an eye doctor appointment and apparently I have to run some MORE errands I hadn' t known were being planned for me.

I AM getting things done. It's just, for every task I finally get to, I uncover three more waiting underneath. And let's not even mention the way that NEW tasks seem to pop up everywhere, like mushrooms, like dandelions, like pop up windows. Hmmmm, that's what I need - a Pop Up Blocker for my LIFE.

Maybe the season is responsible for all this anxiety I'm feeling. Spring is a time when folks tend to wake up from the lethargy of a cold dark winter and try to DO things again. I certainly am. Last week's snowstorm aside, there are spears of green pushing up where dafodils will bloom soon, there are buds on the trees, there's new green on the hardy greens in the garden despite the fact that the ground is still completely frozen in the raised bed barrels. Spring IS coming. And I'm scrambling desperately to be ready for it this time around the wheel.

I am deeply longing for spring not only in the garden, but in my house, in my life, in my schedule. I want a FRESH start full of NEW growth and OPEN possibilities. I don't want the same ol' behind-on-everything clutter that has been my life. Hmmm. In typing these last words, I think I've stumbled upon an insight. The problem might really be that I'm being unrealistic. (ME? Having unrealistic and overly ambitous expectations? Gee, who woulda seen that one coming! )

I mean, let's think of what spring, in a literal sense, is REALLY like, shall we? The snow melts and the landscape is brown and gray and mindnumbingly drab before we get all green and dafodilly. There's all sorts of old plant material to deal with - some dry and brittle, some limp and decomposing. It all has to be raked, pulled up, clipped, and dragged off to the compost pile. The leaf mulch has to be pulled back off the flower beds. And mud. Lot's of mud making it hard to get anything done without adding extra laundry to the plan. There's repairing fences and painting things the freeze and thaw of winter peeled raw. There's all sorts of mess you don't even remember leaving out in the fall, visible now that the snow has melted away. Spring isn't first about taking advantage of the new, it's first about cleaning up the previous year's mess.

Okay, so maybe my life doesn't seem that out of control after all. Maybe I'm right on schedule. All this work might just mean that the dafodils really ARE just right around the corner.

1 Comments:

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