The Speed of Time

I got into a debate with myself whilst out walking yesterday about time and it all came from it being now over 50 years since we made one of our big moves from one town to another. It feels like yesterday but it’s half a century ago.

Arrival in Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Anyway, this got me thinking about making the most of time and, if I am truly honest, how to slow it down.

What tends to slow time down in my case is a visit to the dentist. A second feels like about two hours but while that’s the outcome I want, it’s not the method.

Things I love doing like walking by the sea, reading engaging books, writing poetry have the effect of leading to timelessness and suddenly hours have passed that I have been oblivious to.

That’s a lovely feeling in ways but to suddenly find that 4 hours have vanished – 4 hours that are gone forever.

I thought about getting up at crazy hours like 4am to make the days longer but I really believe sleep is crucially important and that it enhances health so extending days is not a good long term option.

The famous being mindful of every move, thought, sense is one possible way to extend one’s sense of time. But, I would only want to be doing that when it’s an enjoyable thing. I don’t want to be having to be overly mindful when the dentist is prodding my sensitive gums and saying: Umm?

My grand solution, which is not one I am fully satisfied with, is to be very conscious of time wasted and doing things to avoid it. This is akin to recycling and look at how that benefits nature.

A notebook kept for a few days, like a food diary, quickly shows up wasted time, though one person’s view of waste may well differ from another’s.

One of my biggest time wasting activities is sticking at a ‘problem’ until I have it sorted rather than taking a break and giving my brain a chance to ‘think’ or be prepared to ask for help.

Maybe, trying to slow time down is a pointless exercise, like trying to stop the tide coming in, but you all know about a watched pot ….

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

31 thoughts on “The Speed of Time”

  1. Reading and walking along the beach slows me down too. Working in the garden as well.
    All the best.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    Stay well
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Great post! Time passes relentlessly faster as each year passes. I do get up at around 4am most days, but this only leads to an earlier bedtime (because I need my 8 hours sleep at night), so what gets saved on one end of the day gets cut from the other end. Being attentive to time wasted may be an answer. I’m not sure if I’d have an easy time deciding what constitutes wasted time. No matter how “busy” I am, or how idle, the hours and days still fly by.

  3. Your post reminds me of that song “If I could put time in a bottle”…We all waste time in one form or another, I think our brain needs the rest from the everyday happenings in the world ..Every thing seems repetitious as we do the same things over and over. It may be done differently or the outcome may be different. I like to go with the flow and live in the moment regardless whether or not it’s a waste of time. .It’s how one looks at it that is important. .What’s a waste to one is precious to another…That’s what makes each of us unique..

  4. For me too time is flying too fast. I found your post really interesting Jean and doesn’t walking in nature and especially along the beach make one think clearer. Your photos as always lovely.

  5. hmm..i think we all worry too much about wasted time and the perception of what that even means…philosophy tries to provide an answer..but it’s not a one-size-fits-all thing. To me, walking by the sea, reading books and writing poetry are the ultimate goals of time NOT

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