Time is as sluggish as it is fleeting.
Ask a person who is engaging in a rote job they loathe, and another who is partaking in an activity that makes them thrive, what their simultaneous perception of the passing time was and we’ll likely receive two very different answers.
One of the time recipients was likely painfully aware of every tick of the clock, while the other was impervious to the passing seconds.
I’ve been in a round the clock battle with time my entire adult life and I’ve finally waved the white flag and embraced the gift of perception time acquiesces to me. It’s my choice whether time flies by, creeps, or harmoniously paces itself to the rhythm of my life.
In my experience (that I postulate I’m not alone in,) the time line of “Enjoy it now because it just flies by,” has been repeated to me during every profound period and transition of my life.
My time spent as a child: “Enjoy it now, your youth is fleeting.”
My time in high school: “Enjoy it now, you’ll be paying rent, getting pregnant, and buying a minivan before you know it.”
My time in college: “Enjoy it now, you’ll be paying rent, getting pregnant, and buying a minivan before you know it.”
And on it goes.
Well-meaning folks just love to drive home the perception that time is an elusive elixir we’ll never have enough of.
“Enjoy it now because no matter how hard I grasp it, it will slip through my fingers and look back laughing at me as it saunters away.”
The winner, in my experience, of all the “Enjoy it now” recipients has been having a baby.
“Enjoy the itty bitty baby stage now because before I know it he’ll be crawling.”
“Enjoy the crawling stage because before I know it he’ll be running towards a cliff.”
“Enjoy his garbled talk now because before I know it he’ll be spouting Shakespearean soliloquies.”
“Enjoy the cuteness of kindergarten because before I know it he’ll be graduating college and moving to Sri Lanka.”
I can’t enjoy it now because I’m worrying about “enjoying it now.”
I used to feel panicked by this perception of time. Every time I heard the habitual “Enjoy it now,” sentiment I felt worried about how I was performing in regards to truly appreciating the time I’ve been given, instead of living in the present moment, the time I’m in now.
Because this time-vortex perception I adopted has discontinued its benefit for me, and likely never did benefit me, I’ve brought into being my own ‘Enjoy It Now’ practices that includes three simple steps. Join with me in bidding adieu to time and embracing the now.
See what we’re doing, who we’re with, where we are. See the tiny details we usually miss and be with it, appreciate it, notice it with curiosity and ask questions of it, or them.
Tune in to our emotions. How are we feeling in this moment? Where are our emotions manifesting in our body?
Can we transform any seemingly negative emotions with our perceptions? Allowing ‘pain’ to transform into ‘growth,’ ‘struggle’ into ‘strength’ and ‘frustration’ into ‘love.’
Let’s tap into our power to mold out internal world, right now.
Touch, hug, caress and envelop the environment, human, or essence we are living in, in the moment. How cool that we are here right now, with the ability to interact, transfer energy and connect. Let’s sit with that; let’s be in that.
There we have it, let’s do it. Good on us.
These three practices have allowed me to release my fearful grasp on time and let it flutter away. I’m now able connect on a visceral level to not just the people I encounter but the animals that cross my path, the manmade conveniences I never noticed, and the boundless levels of wonder encompassed in the natural environment I once treaded upon without reverence. I’m here, I’m connected I’m in it.
Let’s join together in giving ourselves permission to enjoy the now, without the pressure of “enjoying it now.”
If I really wanted to blow “time” out of the water, I would mention that many a scientist, philosopher and other wise souls dispute the belief that time even exists. I suppose I just mentioned it, but that’s for another post.
Author: Bailey Gaddis
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Laura Fields/Flickr