It’s About Time

The final countdown of remaining days of the year is in progress. We only have a fraction of a week left of 2019. This observation is “dated” because it will be obsolete in only a few days. If you are reading this post beyond 2019, this fact is obvious.

I still have a couple of packets of AA batteries that should have been used before the end of last year. I meant to use them then, but I don’t own as many gadgets that require AA batteries as I used to. Although the batteries will probably still hold a charge, using them past their expiration dates means they might not be as strong as when they were still within their projected lifespan.

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”–Bruce Lee

It’s easy to let time slip away. All that is required is to remain mindless about its passage. This is not to say we should obsess over time; there is no need to feel compulsive about it. Being aware of the present moment and using time wisely is the best personal practice for us.

The late, great, curmudgeonly teevee commentator Andy Rooney once quoted an anonymous source when he said, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.” Now that I’m older, the more the funny analogy seems true. My time seems to zip by much more quickly than ever before. When we’re young, time seems plentiful so it’s much easier to waste it when we seem to have lots of it. Unlike toilet paper, we cannot buy more of it when our supply runs low.

I have an antique pocket watch that is badly in need of service and cleaning. The previous owner apparently wound it too tight and locked up the mainspring mechanism. When I shake the watch, the subdial’s seconds hand moves for a couple of minutes then peters out until I shake the watch again. The watch is not a costly Swiss timepiece–my watch’s movement is simple and mass produced. The watch could be repaired, but the fix would not be cost-effective. These watches don’t fetch much in the marketplace. Maybe I’ll tinker with this watch if I get some spare time to do so.

The problem is, that the watch repair is very low on my list of priorities. There’s not enough bang for the buck for this watch. A person needs to prioritize or do things regarding how important they are. At the same time, we don’t want to obsess over how little time we might have left, thus becoming frozen in indecision about doing what needs to be done.

Sometimes it’s good to take time to meditate or contemplate upon something. Candles are the usual meditation objects, but anything that has a limited lifespan will work just as effectively. I like to settle into a contemplative mood and watch the seconds and minutes hands on an old mechanical wristwatch. The faster movement of the seconds hand coincides with the much slower movement of the minutes hand.

We can compare a candle flame to a watch’s seconds hand and the shrinking of the candle to a watch’s minutes hand. Both the the lit candle and the running watch can make us mindful of the impermanent nature of everything in the Universe.

How we spend our limited time defines who we become. To be selective about how we invest our time and with whom is important. Our time is limited so we are wise not to waste it living it according to other people’s priorities and wishes.

Thank you for spending time reading this. I hope this has been time well spent.

The Blue Jay of Happiness likes this anonymous proverb: “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Meanderings, philosophy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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