Friday Thoughts: Time

What a strange little thing. At the most basic level it is a term that represents the units used in measuring the passage of time. Whether it is seconds or centuries, it is measuring the passing of moments. Concrete concepts based on how the earth moves around the sun. But then you get into different, abstract ideas. Eons. Ages. Moments. All of them are familiar to us yet at the same time our concepts of them are slightly different.

But in a more practical sense, time is the march of days.

When I was younger, time seemed to last forever. Summer never ended and I would never grow up.

Now I am older, time seems to move in spurts. Some moments fly past, days ending almost as quickly as it began. Other days it crawls along like a dying slug. Maybe it is the side effect of being older now. Or I am just more aware of time.

Of course there are people who say “manage your time better and you’ll have more of it”. Which is true. Yet I find myself having to choose between things. To read or to watch television. Play a game or begin learning a new language. Spend time with family versus spending time to write.

Is this what life really about?

Choosing what to invest your time in? Exercise? Sleep? Relationships? Time is a commodity that everyone has and everyone has an equal amount. How we spend it helps determine where we end up in life. There are things that we can’t control in life: our starting point in society or the actions others take against us. But we can control how we react. Sometimes that means spending more time in tutoring or starting working early to get an edge in education. For others it means spending time in the hospital to deal with an illness. Or spending time after college at home to save on money. Life isn’t fair, no one starts at the same point, and things change.

But we can invest the time we are given however we want.

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Friday Thoughts: Time

In recent weeks I have been running into the problem that I just don’t have time.

Time to run. Time to learn a new language. Time to sleep. Time to work. The list goes on and on and on. And that is just for personal time. Work time is even crazier because there is a lot of hurry up and wait. Then two hours to the end of the shift I am flooded by a half dozen designs that all need to be done by the end of the day. At the end of this week I realized I need to get a better grip on how I spend time. Step one: figure out what is eating up my time.

First big consumer is work. I work 8 hours a day, at least. Then of course sleep. After that, commute. My commute is about an hour and half one way. Each night, I get about two or three hours to get cleaned up, eat, and ready for the next day.

As I was sitting down and working on a plan that would allow me to get more work done, I realized that a big part of health is being able to recharge. Like going out for a weekend and visit friends. Or staying in and not interacting with anyone. Granted, I can be described as an introvert so my recharge time appears different.

In this fast pace digital world, time management is more important than ever.

I can lose two hours scrolling through Facebook or play games till midnight. Or I can spend the night designing artwork and videos for work. Both have their places but there goes my evening. In light of this, my solution to getting more time is becoming more discipline.

Friday Thoughts: The Journey

It is once more that time of year. The part of the year where social media feeds are filled with one of three things: engagement announcements, baby announcements, university enrollment announcements.

And of course, each post has likes, hearts, and comments posting love and best wishes. We join in and comment.

Some of us see the news with a great smile. Others may see these announcements as painful reminders. We’re not where we want to be or with who we want to be.

But that’s okay.

We just need a little patience. In May 2016 I graduated from college. I had hopes that I would have a job after a month. Half a year later and I may have my one love in my life. A year after that I would be making a sizable dent in my school debt. That was my hope.

A year later I was still jobless, no love interest, and had not even started on paying back my loans.

It was only in April that I finally landed a job. Life is still not going the way I would like it to go but that is okay. But I remember something a Baby Boomer told me: Everyone has to pay their dues.

What does that mean?

It means each and everyone else has to go through a trial. It doesn’t matter who we are or what we applied for, we have paths we must travel. Whether we are the reporter stuck with boring stories or the medical student going through residency. The art student working as a graphic designer or the writer being denied. We must bear our burden and walk this path.

Tolkien did not sit down one day and write a generation-spanning novel. Einstien did not solve the mysteries of the math world overnight. We may see it as an instant success but it is not.

True greatness comes not from glory but from hard work.

As much as I wish that I could just skip the pain and reach the perfect happy place, this trial of fire can be beneficial.

We gain a better appreciation for our job, empathy for what others are going through, and perspective on our own circumstances.

And as tempting as it is to take a short cut it is not worth it. You will always be found out. No matter how long it takes, the truth will come out. The longer it takes to find out, the greater the fall will be.

So be patient. Be diligent. Learn what you can at each stage.

Friends

No wit to write
No thought to ponder
Just a desire to slumber

No want for games to play
No series that I must see
Just a desire to sleep

No desire to talk all night
No want to read by moonlight
Just a need to sleep

Then a friend calls
And I come awake
A grin upon my face
Without a thought of sleep

Hours upon hours
We talk and talk
No thought givenĀ for time
No worry givenĀ for tomorrow

Just talk and talk
Till the moon has set
And the dawn breaks

Still I smile
Still I wake without complaint
For good friends are worth
The long hours at night

Winter’s Tears

Winter cried
Winter weeped
For the people said
That they despised him
He is cold
His long
We cannot bear it any longer

Winter tried to be sweet
And tried to be short
Yet still the people complained
The road is covered in slush
And the children are cold
Why must we have Winter
Why can we not have Summer

So the people called out
To the Maker of all
Make it so that Winter is gone
Make it so that snow never comes
And the weather stays warm all year

Such was the clamoring
Such was the out cry
That Winter weeped and howled
Ice came in sheets
And snow fell by the yard

The people grew angry
And demand it be changed
So the Maker did as they asked
And forbade Winter to come again

With hurt and sorrow
Winter left, leaving a trail of ice and cold
The people rejoiced!
For Summer lasted longer
And the year was kinder

So the years went by
And the people sang
But little by little
Did things begin to change

Crops became weaker each year
And the trees began to whiter and die
Animals became deadlier
And killed more and more
As time went by

The people wondered
The people pondered
Why had the animals grown so terrible
Why were the trees dying
And the crops filling
Why had the river lost her depth

Should not the longer warmth
Be better for all
Surly they should rejoice and thrive
Yet the forrest decayed
And the rivers faded
The birds dwindled as they stayed
And the animals invaded new areas

Finally they asked the Maker
Why had their valley changed

With calm and patience
Did he explain

Winter gave the fields time to rest
Winter allowed the trees to sleep
And the animals their goodbyes

Winter took home those who were failing
And renewed the earth so she could sustain
The rivers ranked from the snow he gave
And the birds knew to leave at his breath

As Summer gives time for growth
And Spring time for birth
And Fall time for change
So does Winter give something in turn

Each season, though varied by place
Has a role to play

Summer grows but takes away from the soil
Spring births but demands tribute from land
Fall ends that whose story is closing
But Winter begins again all that is

So the people understood
That each season had a reason
Not all is good and to be welcomed
Nor it was to be a joy
But Winter was no less important
For the pain he brought

So the Maker called back Winter
And he came when he heard his name
His eyes grew most and his heart rent
At the suffering he saw
With his tears and his touch
Did snow, ice, and cold did come

Thus the land slept
And so the trees regained their strength
And the river regained her power
Though the people still complained
They understood at long last
The part he played

Dwarven Art

Dig deep
Dig long
Mine the ore
Stroke the fire
Choose carefully
Take the metal
Make it pure
Into the fire
Into the mold
Hammer it
Shape it
Forge it new
Take the time
Make it right
From dawn to dusk
All night long
Hammer
Forge
Shape
Formed and carved
Till metal shaped
Till art is done
No rust can touch
No length of time weaken
Strong as stone
Beautiful as light
A race long forgotten
Its art long remembered