Half of 2019 is over.
Half of 2019 is over.
I’m sitting on my balcony, struck by disbelief.
How did all this time pass?
When I think back to my schooling days, I remember that the time between holidays seemed so endless, and the six weeks of summer holidays, when they finally came around, were an eternity. Well, in my case, school meant mainly boredom, and, let’s be honest here, a distinct lack of studying. And in my holidays I had no pressure whatsoever to do anything in particular with my time, so I just hung out with friends every day.
6 weeks of doing nothing.
It’s kind of unimaginable from today’s perspective, especially for the younger generations. Performance pressure informs every layer of the modern existence, and we have access to so much distraction that time has become a commodity we never have enough of.
The other day we were sitting on the couch, watching a film set in the post-WWII era, and my boyfriend said: “crazy to think that our grandparents actually lived through those times.” “Yep”, I replied, “and also the 60s, the 80s – all that time leading up to now. No wonder some of them are so stubborn.”
At some point in the future, people will look back and say something similar about our present era. And we will think back and remember our youth as a moment where the whole world stretched out before us.
The question is:
what are we going to remember?
Are we going to remember that awesome bag, or the day spent with good friends at the lake? Are we going to take stock of a life made up of countless beautiful memories, or will we feel the sting of regret about a lifetime wasted?
Are we living in the past, the present, or the future? Is that question actually even relevant, given that all we really have, all we can really hope to shape is this present moment?
Thinking back, I remember a wonderful summer, enjoyed to the fullest at the side of my favorite person. Many of the memories that make up that summer in my heart make me smile. Time, if you follow its flow, has a way of rewarding you.
In fact, this is one of the most profound things I understood in the past couple of years: I don’t work against time, I work with it. From time to time I fall back into the old pattern of wanting to move at the speed of light, hoping to outmaneuver time, which, in those moments, looks like an enemy to me. It always ends in frustration. Time always wins. But when I welcome time as a friend, when I manage to live through the hours and days at my own pace, I usually get much more done than when I try to push myself against the current. And even if I get less done than I hoped, at least I don’t feel stressed about life.
I have learned to take the time I need. A good thing takes time, as the saying goes.
Why stress myself? Every day offers exactly 24h, after all, no matter what I do. Shouldn’t we rather try to make the best of every moment?
There’s a time for everything.
For the little undertakings, as well as for the big challenges.
Time teaches us patience, and I’m one of its students among many. I learn that I am only human, with a finite stretch of time at my disposal.
It’s like a mantra I repeat to myself, whenever the performance pressure threatens to overwhelm me, whenever I feel, with rising panic, that I need to work faster and get more done. In those moments, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and repeat this simple truth:
There is a time for everything.
This post is also available in DE