Monday, September 12, 2016

The Times of Our Lives

by Carol

I wonder if I will ever stop living by the school calendar. It's such an odd thing. I watched the first buses go by today, with the little ones climbing aboard, and I thought "so the new year starts." Then, my thoughts caught up with my knowledge base, and I realized that it is not a "new year" for me - I will be trucking in to work tomorrow same as always. I figured out that it has been 21 years since I helped my oldest walk up those school bus steps for the first time, hiding my tears and holding my fervent good wishes inside and whispering a little prayer that she and her brother have wonderful lives. The bus doors swooshed shut with their unique noises, and little bother said with lots of heart, and a tinge of jealousy -  "Whoa! Thats' cool!" My kids are now citizens of the world, honest, hard workers and to their mother they are just the most fascinating adults she's found.  

Along the same vein, I saw a movie this weekend with Bryan Brown in it. I had such a crush on him in "The Thorn Birds!" You are going to think that I have completely lost it when you read this next part (and maybe I really have) but I spent the first third of the movie thinking Bryan Brown was the male lead - the young husband. That is until he appeared on screen...playing the grandfather! Don't get me wrong - he still looks good - it's ME I'm shocked about....It has been 33 years since the first episode of The Thorn Birds miniseries.

I  love my life, I love my increasingly free time to pursue my interests, I am proud of all that I have accomplished. It's just that every now and then my brain asks how did I get this far? It's all going WAY too fast. 

I read a keynote speech that was given in 2012 by Paul Ford on the nature of time. He discussed how time can be framed in so many different ways. Here is an excerpt:

  "There are 200 of you in this auditorium. So every minute I don’t talk saves about three-and-a-third hours of human time. That’s a pretty serious ratio. Every one of my minutes is collectively 200 of yours.
Of course in actual time a minute is just a minute—but is this true? A minute when you’re asleep is nothing. A minute on Twitter is as many as half a million tweets. If it was your job to read them that’s a month or two of full-time work. A minute in the early days of the universe, a few million years after the big bang, is pretty much like any other minute."

He talks about how the invention of the clock was  completely irrelevant to the farmers who lived by the sunlight, as it is now to the computer engineers, who work in nanosecond units all day.  There are 86 trillion nanoseconds in a day. And we are all trying to figure out how best to use them. Mr Ford says:

"The only unit of time that matters is heartbeats. Even if the world were totally silent, even in a dark room covered in five layers of foam, you’d be able to count your own heartbeats."

Paul Ford is right of course. 
How will you spend your nanoseconds today?

(Don't forget to take a look up top for our monthly theme. We look forward to your work in our galleries.)


chasing the sun said...

Moments we take to teach our traditions and ways to the next generation are moments well spent...Strengthening and spreading our own roots is a good investment in our immortality as a culture..

heyjudephotography said...

Such insight here Carol. This post struck a nerve with me this morning. It seems I have been acutely aware recently of the passage of time, losing a family member well before we "should" have, really seeing my parents as the world around them views them - more fragile, but still vital, and of course, watching my children grow - my baby is now a teenager. I will remember your post as I try to make all of my nanoseconds count today. Thank you for this Carol.

AFishGirl said...

A beautiful post, Carol. I smiled about the movie thing. You remind me to be present and make my minutes be full experienced. And of course, to take photos. Thank you.

Dotti said...

Oh, yes, the movie thing! When I see someone I swooned over as a young person after a period of time has elapsed, I always say, "He/she looks so old!" As if I still look like I did when I was 25! I do believe as we get older, we become much, much more aware of the passage of time, how precious it is, how quickly it flies. One of my favorite quotes is, "Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." An excellent thought-provoking post to begin our week and to help us remember that nanoseconds count.

Deanna said...

Beautiful post, Carol. I am so aware of how quickly time is moving, it happens as you grow older and you learn to relish and cherish each and everyday, even when you accomplish absolutely nothing. I get the movie thing....saw a movie this weekend with Jeff Bridges who I always thought had a certain appeal. But the appeal quickly passed when he took off his shirt and revealed his old, saggy body. (giggle)

Cathy H. said...

As I'm aging the weeks are flying by at warp speed. I'm struggling with that. I don't want my life to go so quickly. I wish there were a way to slow those nanoseconds down! said...

what a lovely post. Thought provoking. I've been thinking a lot about time lately. I wrote a post about it last week too. The downside, I suppose, is that I don't spend nearly as much online time as I once did. And more recently, I make an effort to spend less time checking out FB -- reading only actual messages from friends and family and NOT all those stupid videos and memes. Instead, in terms of the little bit of online time I do spend is spent going back to blogs -- only favourites. It's not daily, not even weekly -- but I get there again, when I can. I find my time spent in real life in the real world is far more enriching. But that's me. No wonder this post hit home for me!

kelly said...

gosh carol...i think about this all the time...where does the time go. this time of year more acutely because, like you, i've been watching the neighborhood parents walk their little ones to the school down the street from me. thanks for the reminder to stay focused on the present and measure life in heartbeats.

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