March 20, 2012

Time flies…

Whoever first said this phrase, “Time flies when you’re having fun…”, must have only stayed in one timezone!

I think that the phrase should be altered a bit… “Time flies as you get older…”  Here it is, already, one week since hitting my golden birthday.  In some ways, it seems like it was only yesterday.  When I realize that I’ve already had this new place for over 4 months, that I’ve already been in Taiwan for over 10 years, that I have been living on my own for over 3 decades…  where did the time go?

I’m sure that everyone says this at one point or another.  I think about this almost weekly.  I look forward, as most people do, to the weekend.  This is when I have a lot of ‘non-class’ time to be able to get some stuff done around my home – laundry, renovating, lesson planning – and before I know it, Monday has arrived.

When I was a kid, I can still remember, maybe not specific dates, but I do remember times where it seemed like time stood still.  Perhaps it’s the actual memories that one perceives the passage of time…

Those negative or bad remembrances (detention, doing homework, punished to our rooms, having to play outside on a cold winter day, shoveling the walkway and driveway, etc.) made for slow passages of time.  All those positive or good remembrances (vacations, parties, moving to a new place, etc.) made for fast passages.

So, since I feel that time is passing quickly, I suppose that means that these are (or will be) good remembrances in my life.

Like anything, we always seem to remember the bad things that happen to us in our lives.  Perhaps I should say, the things that we PERCEIVE as bad things that happen.  Nonetheless, if you look back on your own life, some or most of the vivid memories you have, where you can recall almost every detail verbatim, are what you may consider to be negative.

As mentioned above, I can recall those times of shoveling the snow from our walkway or the driveway.  It seemed that when I was young, London used to get tons and tons of snow during the winter.  The hours spent cleaning the driveway, trying to find place to put the snow, the weight of the snow on the shovel, and the worst, the cold!

The times spent doing homework – especially those ‘projects’!  Either putting together some kind of display with popsicle sticks and cardboard boxes, or having to write essays, were the worst.  The more I think about this, there was a couple of times where I thought I had done well, only to have received a mediocre mark in class.

As a kid, I would have to admit that I wasn’t a model child.  Sure, I had my moments, but for the most part, it must have been hell on my parents raising three boys, all very close in age.  The numbers of times I remember the three of us being punished or sent to our rooms without dinner or having to mop and polish the living room and kitchen floors…  sends chills up and down my spine.

However, when it comes to the good remembrances, things become a little more foggy.  They don’t seem to come forth as quickly as the bad things.  More often than not, I have to look over photos before those memories are stirred.  In some cases, unfortunately, I don’t have photos, but I do remember some vivid memories.

Moving into my very first apartment.  Starting my very first full-time job.  Moving to Ottawa.  Attending college.  Moving to British Columbia.  The days  when we’d wake up to find mounds of snow, then hearing on the radio that school was closed.  Getting on the plane in Vancouver headed to Taiwan.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things, more recent events in my life have made time seem to fly by.  If I go by the first statement (“Time flies when you’re having fun…”), then overall, my life must be fun.

So how would I explain away the fact that I perceive my days and weeks slipping by so quickly?  The weekend arrives, I get some work done, then Monday begins, and before I know it, Friday approaches, and another weekend begins.

I was looking over a couple of my lesson plan books the other day.  For each and every class, whether it be at school or a private student, I keep a binder of my lesson plan for that class.  One private student in particular, I had taught for over 5 years!  I was kind of amazed.  It hadn’t seemed that long.  One of the schools I teach at, I have 10 years of lesson plans!  WOW!

Perhaps getting older is another reason why time seems to fly.  Maybe when we’re kids, we don’t have a lot of other stuff cluttering our brains, so all those times as kids and young adults, makes the time seem a slow process.  As we get older, gain more experience, obtain more memories, then time seems to zip by.

Whatever the reason, it suddenly dawned on me again, that this is Tuesday!  I woke up around 7am this morning, and it is now almost 1pm.  I’ve already been awake for 4 hours, I only have about 4 hours before classes begin, and then it will be time for bed again!  Maybe I should be thinking differently.  Rather than looking forward to what WILL happen, I should look back at what happened.  Change my perspective.

Like trimming meat off a bone.  It is better to trim the bone away from the meat, rather than trim the meat away from the bone.  Crazy analogy, but think about it.  It’s all about perspective.  If you concentrate more on the bone, then less meat will be left on the bone.  If you concentrate more on the meat, then some meat will be left on the bone.

If I look back at what I have done in the recent past, then perhaps time will seem to slow down.  When I look to the future, time seems to move faster to get to that point.  Hmmm…  If you understand my thinking here, congrats!

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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