Have you ever heard a woman complain that the days of pregnancy passed too swiftly? I know I haven’t. For me, the days of pregnancy (three times) were interminable. But then the baby comes and time speeds up. And one amazing day, the baby gets married (this happened very recently in my family). Alas, the old cliché: where did the time go?
It’s a conundrum I’ve been grappling with lately: How to slow time down? Apparently, there are a few methods, like meditating (a good one) or living a boring life (I can’t imagine how the latter would be possible, but I do know people who say they are bored and that time seems to drag). I wouldn’t recommend this approach, however, and can’t even figure out how it might work.
Just maybe, living in an extremely cold climate would help make time stand still; I know, for instance, that even though the days are shorter, they can seem agonizingly endless during a bout of bad winter weather. Still, this incentive would not be enough to get me to move to, ahem, Greenland.
At this time of year on the East coast in particular, I’m always reminded of how fast time travels. At the end of summer, I can never believe how swiftly the warm season has passed. On Labor Day, it seems as if only yesterday it was Summer Solstice (unless, of course, one has kids who are antsy to get back to school and summer has gone on for far too long). I remember my mother listening to Willie Nelson’s soulful rendition of “September.” The thought of her tears every time she heard that song brings me to tears even decades later.
As a kid, I spent endless afternoons on particular time-expanding pursuits, and I wonder if perhaps I should try some of them now. A favorite was to recline on the living room rug and gaze up at the ceiling, imagining that it was the floor. I was fascinated by the fact that the ceiling/floor could be so uncluttered, making the room seem exceptionally spacious. On the empty ceiling there were no coffee tables, chairs, or couches, no magazines, books, or clutter of any kind. I felt an infinite expansiveness just staring up at the empty, flat space. So maybe…fast forward to adulthood…I would feel time slowing a bit if I could just get rid of some clutter and lay flat on my back.
Another activity was naming my marbles. Yes, I know this sounds odd…but I whiled away many an hour in an altered state while taping monikers on my voluminous collection (I may have named some rocks, too, though I can’t swear to this). Clearly, the names didn’t last—they fell off after a few rolls. But that didn’t seem to matter. This mind-numbing activity made a day last like an eternity, and I thoroughly enjoyed it even though the names—Catsy, Sparkle, Greenie—were pretty lame.
I suppose if I splayed out on the floor all day now or sat with a pile of marbles, my grown kids and husband might call a family meeting. So, I’ll stick to meditation—which seems to help, as does being “present” and avoiding winding thought-paths into past or future.
Still, I sense that time is speeding up and a “slow pill” sounds enticing. If only September—truly, my favorite month-- could go on…and on… forever.