Time | Mark’s Remarks

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nd with each passing year, my mind is boggled for several reasons. 

Mainly, I ask myself why time seems to go faster and faster. I mean, I’ve heard people lament the passage of time since I was little.  

“Time moves fast.  It just seems like yesterday.  They grow up too fast.”

I guess I didn’t think it would happen to me.

Time is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately … how I spend my time; what I have time for and what I do not have time for; or better yet, what I’m not willing to use time for.

We spend a heck of a lot of time trying to keep people happy, accommodate people and look past things. There are people we put up with because we feel we have to and deciding not to be around those people could cause problems.

I’ve decided, in these 54 years, some relationships just aren’t going to be meaningful or even healthy in this lifetime and regardless of the pain that it may cause, only the most important relationships are worth maintaining. So, my time with the relationships I pursue, cultivate and maintain are going to be worthwhile and healthy from here on out.

I have also decided that we spend a lot of time in a big hurry. I read something very eye-opening the other day: it was the perspective of a 2-year-old. The article was written as if the 2-year-old was able to articulate his frustrations. He talked about wanting to do things on his own, yet always being hurried up by his parents or loved ones. He felt as if he wanted to feed himself, or open a box on his own, or climb up into the car on his own, or just walk.  

But the poor kid was always being hurried along by impatient parents or loved ones who didn’t think they had the time to wait around. The 2-year-old wasn’t given the time to explore or try things on his own or learn. Suddenly, the parents or loved ones said things like “pick up” your toys or “please share.” He didn’t do what he was told because he didn’t quite understand what he was being told.  

So, he often laid on the floor crying or throwing a tantrum out of frustration and fatigue.

Then, people call it the “Terrible Twos.”

Think about it. We are so stinking impatient. I can’t tell you the number of times I felt I was driving a bit too fast, only to have some maniac fly up behind me or past me, going at least 10-15 miles per hour faster.  

I once saw a guy weaving in and out of traffic as if he was going to a fire – only to see him pull into a gas station at breakneck speed. Since I was pulling into the same gas station, I watched to see if this guy moved quickly filling his tank. Nope. He leisurely filled the tank, strolled into the station (not paying at the pump) and came out with a big soda and some other items – clearly not in that big a hurry.

I was behind an older gentleman at the grocery store the other day. He had questions about his purchase, in addition to coupons. He wanted to talk to the cashier about the food he was purchasing.

The young cashier, not interested, spoke back to the man in a loud, condescending tone, trying to mask her rudeness with a gritted teeth politeness.

The man saw right through it.

By the time I checked out and was leaving the store, the man was just getting to the cart area and wanted to put his cart away before leaving the store.

Not aware he was causing a bit of a traffic jam, he took his own sweet time.  Gingerly, he took his three bags out of the cart and slowly began maneuvering his cart back to the cart area.  

When he finally realized he was making about three of us wait behind him, he was embarrassed.

“Oh goodness. Forgive me. I move at a snail’s pace these days,” he said.

His charming apology removed any irritation any of us may have felt, and I am certain we all began thinking about things like keeping one’s independence, still feeling capable and necessary at an older age, and how patience is sometimes forced on us whether we like it or not.

And by the way: Why are we in such a hurry?  

That was quite a bit of “my thoughts” regarding patience and being aware of both little people and older folks. I wrote it again because I wanted to remind myself how vital patience is. To that little 2-year-old, it may be the difference between learning something and a tantrum. To the older guy in the store, it is the difference between being able to do his own shopping and depending on others.

Regardless of my time schedule, I feel like I can always slow my life down to be patient with an older person. Or a 2-year old.

I also feel like I need to take more time with conversations. I often say I’m on a “need to know” basis and have very little time to pay attention to the minute details of the lives of others. It’s not that I don’t care; well, yes, it actually is. I really don’t care about the details much.

Therefore, I sometimes miss out.

At times, I’m highly irritated talking about mundane topics and answering questions that don’t really even need to be asked. Or I’ve answered the questions already and am asked them again. Perhaps that comes from years of question answering in the classroom.  If ever there was a place for forced patience, it is the classroom.

Again, I sometimes miss out on things having this mind set.

So, harder for me than being patient with kids and older folks, I feel it’s time to be gentler and more understanding about conversations.  

It may lead me to be less self-centered and more interested in other people.

Heck, maybe someone will think I’m more caring or something like that.

Like I said a few lines above, time moves awfully fast, and I feel it’s only a matter of time before I forget there are people behind me in the checkout line who may need to get going. I may forget what it’s like to be on a schedule (oh how I look forward to that), and expect people to be able to drop everything and talk to me about what I did that day.

After all, what’s the big hurry anyway?

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