Musings on Time

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

Albert Einstein

Time is a constant in our lives.

Allow me to remind you that for many of us time impacts almost everything we do. We are often told that during specific periods in life time either speeds up or just as suddenly time s-l-o-w-s down. Maybe time has figured out how to do somersaults and back flips as well.

We are taught as children to slow down and take time; told not to waste time; admonished to always be on time.

Adults, perhaps women especially, are encouraged to remember to take time for themselves while simultaneously organizing family and work time.

Then as we age time becomes fleeting; we lose track of time (and other things as well) or we are told that time is just a memory.

Think about how humans contemplate time and its passing.

  • We have been given a plethora of gadgets to mark time. I am thankful that the sundial is no longer one of those gadgets.
  • For many, time seems to be a crucial aspect that defines their self identity, making them a slave to time.
  • For others like myself, I contemplate past moments in time, rather those moments were happy, sad, joyful or painful.
  • Some of us just want more time. Time to do and see and be or be seen… those folks seem to feel there is just never enough time.

Here are a few radical thoughts: What if we just stopped living our lives under the enveloping cloud of time? How about removing that ticking clock churning out the seconds and minutes and hours?

Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on

How about if we just lived instead?

You may be saying to yourselves, “Whoa, Deb seems to have meandered into some unhinged territory here. Should we be worried, or maybe call someone?”

No…well maybe. Sometimes this is how my brain works. I like to look at things that seem to be at the core of how we define ourselves, intangible topics that we allow to control our lives. I also like to ask questions- way too many questions sometimes. I believe unless you ask you may never really inspect your own views and beliefs and place in the world. Plus it’s just fun to go a bit off the rails and see how others react.

The point in this post, inspired because I am in a middle age-leaning toward older state of life, is that I am much more often coming up against the finite notion of time as it applies to a human body.

Time isn’t going to stop when I stop. I would be remiss to believe I had that sort of power. With the knowledge and awareness that I have time limits ahead I want to use my time in the best way possible. I don’t really know what that looks like, but I think about it, especially when I also think about the past. That drives me to keep wondering and exploring and being.

I think that we need to make time matter, but not allow time to consume us in negative ways. How we accomplish that- and what we focus on- is the key. Are we so entrenched in how much time we don’t have available that we’ve simply forgotten how much time we do have?

I think Mr. Einstein has the right idea. Time is a gift that allows humans to spread our exploration of this world over the years and decades. We are not bound to do it all at once- whatever your IT may be.

So tell me…

How do you find ways to make time matter?

How are you choosing to live with the finite number of minutes and days that you have?

How does time help you savor the life you live everyday?

42 thoughts on “Musings on Time

  1. I had to chuckle when I saw your post, Deb, because my husband had been teasing me just before that, and called me “Einstein.” Then I looked down and saw your quote. The timing was perfect (no pun intended). 😀

    As to the post, it’s spot on – all of it. Time is definitely top of mind these days for me. The awareness of it, and wanting to make it count. I love how you share to enjoy the time we DO have, instead of focusing on what we don’t. That’s so good! I’m gonna try to remember this. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. How funny about the Einstein reference! Coincidence or foreshadowing…hmmmm! I feel like I’ve done a lot of that speeding up and then slowing way down when it comes to the moments of my life. Time does ebb and flow but I I think we can also take it for granted, or worse let time consume us. Like so many other things we talk about on this blog there has to be a balance. Time may be one of the hardest balancing acts to manage in my opinion. Hope you are doing well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So very true, Deb! Someone mentioned the other day instead of seeing the passing of time, to think of the number of opportunities we may have left. Which can be scary, but also enlightening, because it highlights what’s important. For instance, my dad is 70, which is far from old, but he’s been having heart problems. So my takeaway from that conversation was to consider how many Thanksgivings and/or Christmases we might have left with him. This really resonated, because we don’t typically spend holidays with him, as he doesn’t live close by. So, I’m trying to do that as well. In other words, make each opportunity count. Again, such a great topic, and one that’s extremely relatable. Appreciate you tackling it! ❤️

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  2. Such a post, Deb! And your questions? Prompting a little reflection this morning. I love feeling a sense of accomplishment and the older I get, the more I realize that wonderful feeling of ‘flow’ is a consideration. If I’m enjoying what I’m doing, the passage of time is rapid…hours can disappear but if I’m dragging around my bucket of dread or worry about…you-name-it…minutes crawl. As much as I can, I want to dispense with dread and focus on the good, the light, the happy and for me, that involves making some tough choices sometimes about how I choose to spend my time. Thank you so much, Deb. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes! Choice- something I think is all too easy for us to forget to exercise or perhaps even realize that we have that power to choose. Often we need to choose, for our own sanity and self-preservation but then the world is nagging us to be everywhere and everything all at once. Who wants to live like that? I don’t! So yes- we face the tough decisions as you noted Vicki- and then often guilt is involved. I think you touch on a great point and that is that we have to know ourselves, or at least be open to learning about ourselves along with using time in positive, constructive ways rather than just filling up the clock with negative or even arbitrary action. I think that’s called mindfulness!! 🙂

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  3. I suspect there will be others thinking like yourself Deb. We need to appreciate time and use it as a guide, but not get fixated on it. I know I have fewer years to go than I have lived, but I’ve seen too many people get so far along this journey called life and just stop; they give up and its as if they just sit down and wait for their time to run out. I dont want to fall into that category, I want to ensure that what’s left of my life is full – ideally full of fun, off doing activities that really engage me, and since I’ll probably still be working for another 10-12 years, I want to make sure I enjoy that too. I just need to do everything in my power to make sure I develop the kind of healthy lifestyle that will enable and support that. I guess I could live with regrets of things I could have done differently etc, but im making a choice to focus on the present and live and enjoy my life. I hope to have many years ahead of me but no-one knows what lies ahead … I can’t control time (we’ve not discovered how to do that yet 🤭) so I plan to make the most of every day doing things I love

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh Brenda, absolutely agree to the idea of NOT embracing the future by simply sitting and waiting for the end! You have a great attitude about moving forward in ways that speak to you, but I know that’s not always easy for everyone to visualize or accomplish. This speaks to me of what (in a very veiled way perhaps) I was trying to toss out in my post and that is the influence of society both on the concept of time in general but also as it applies to aging. Throughout life, up to about middle age we are made to feel the focus of using time purposefully and wisely. Boom! We reach the arbitrary age associated with the label *old* and are immediately tossed aside to sit in that corner with no more purpose, joy or even much to offer. Time doesn’t stop just because we reach a specified number. It frustrates me to no end to see the possibilities of a meaning span of time often taken away from elders when there is so much they can and should (I think) continue to do. Thanks for letting me rant a bit in this reply 🙂

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    1. Wow – that sounds like a wonderful decision, Michelle! Unfortunately this comment landed in the SPAM filter for a couple of days so please accept my apologies for the delay in response. But hopefully we got it out of there at the right time… 🙂

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    2. Michelle, I am so sorry that I missed your comment! I check here often and am almost positive it never showed up as I certainly would have replied. I see by Wynne’s comment that it went to spam- so grateful that Wynne caught that and moved you where you belonged 🙂 You are so right, it is absolutely a priceless decision to make that change. I felt the same way when I said goodbye to work altogether. Congratulations on prioritizing yourself and happiness!

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    1. My brain does enjoy these little journeys Ab 😉 I know we live in a world that makes our consideration of time almost impossible, at least until we come up upon the realization that we have much less time than thought- no matter the reason. Perhaps it’s a selfish viewpoint to just want or encourage someone to think about themselves for more than a passing moment or to give them time (away from life and stress) to contemplate how time plays into their life- both good and bad. I think we need permission to do this…often- and then readjust to take some of the crazy out of our daily lives.

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  4. I feel like this is the perfect follow-on to EW’s post of juggling all of life’s balls. Time is often the factor that dictates how many balls are up in the air and for how long. When I was young, I would focused on optimizing every waking minute for productivity. When I became sick, the number of waking minutes in my day shrunk drastically and that drove home the importance of making that time count. The new mindset is ingrained now–time is spend on habits that support good health, loving relationships, moments of joy, and stress-free work. When we hone in on our priorities and “no” to everything else, it makes savoring on time, passed and future, a true pleasure. Thanks for this, Deb!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh Erin, thank you! Such a simple and clear response to what my rambling, out-there post was meant to convey. Priorities are the key, and giving oneself permission to be a top priority is essential. I say the reason doesn’t even matter, and we should not have to voice our reasons. It should just be accepted that we control our time, not the other way around. You rock!

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  5. Thank goodness we don’t rely on sundials here in the PNW, right, Deb? I had to laugh about that line.

    What a lovely post that has me feeling freer just for reading it. This is a great “what if” experiment. And I love your ending line, “We are not bound to do it all at once- whatever your IT may be.”

    All I can say is that I think I read this wonderful post at just the right time – time to enjoy the weekend as if there is no time! Thanks, Deb!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha! I had not even considered living in a majorly sunless state when I wrote about the sundial! I hope everyone finds their IT everyday and puts effort and time into making that happen. Have a wonderful weekend with those kiddos Wynne!

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  6. Time is made up of moments and I can try to make the best of them, one at a time. Drinking a coffee and doing my puzzles in the morning, going for a walk or run, seeing the grandsons, petting the cat, reading a book–they enrich my moments which make up my day and my time.

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    1. It may be that many don’t take stock of those moments that fill their days, or they put other priorities ahead of that enjoyment and reflection. I do think we have a small advantage being retired and not necessarily pulled in 50 directions with work obligations as well. Someone always wants our time and I understand the focus is different based on where you are in life. It’s the forgetting that your times matters as well…


  7. One of my favorite Einstein quotes is “When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.” 🙃 Yes, time passes differently based on what we’re doing, who we’re with, and even our (ok, at least for me this is true) our state of mind. And I think you’re right, we “squander” time and, like health, seem to appreciate it only when it’s gone?

    I wonder if that’s a wonderful experiment: perhaps we should go back to a sundial time, a time where we had “morning”, “noon”, “afternoon”, “evening”, and “night”, and maybe instead of counting the nanoseconds on atomic clocks we’ll enjoy the moments of our … time?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think your words speak to how much we have lost to a world that seeks to manage and manipulate and control. We don’t see the wonder and life in those individual moments being much too distracted often to even look.

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    1. Hah! No, no advertising background at all! Honestly, sometimes I really have no major lead in regarding an HoTM post! I’ve written and said what I wanted but I also know the process means a mention on my personal blog as well. Mustering that level of creativity twice is often beyond me 😉

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  8. I like how you think. I don’t spend much of my time pondering how much more time I have left, nor do I long for times gone by. Trite as it might sound I live in the moment figuring that I can only control/enjoy the time I’m in now, so why not do that to the best of my ability? Kind of a simplistic answer, but that’s how I think.

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    1. I think living for now is perfect AB! I don’t want to go backwards and have any redo’s but I do want to still have the memories that are meaningful and I hope I can hold onto those. The future is so unpredictable anymore and so out of our control- so absolutely enjoying and making the most of now seems to be the answer. I think that’s hard for some people and may seem like a luxury as well.

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  9. You know I’m incredibly organized. I try to make my days count…get things done, don’t spend too much time on things that don’t matter, realize that good enough is good enough, make the time for the people and things that bring you joy, love, or are passionate about. Don’t worry so much about how much time is left because we don’t know how much is left. Guilt and anger are not productive uses of time

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    1. Of course I get the organized component! One simple goal, now that I have no real pressing needs, is to experiment in letting some of that organization go for greater flexibility and adventure…and it is so hard! I do know that putting a lot of time into how long my future is really isn’t a priority and I really can’t organize that outcome even if I wanted to!

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      1. See, I think my being hyper organized gives me more time to do the fun stuff. Like I spent the morning writing, but still fit in dog walks and sneaker buying, farmers market and botanic garden. Plus house stuff!

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