I’ve lost half an hour. I’m not sure where or when I lost it exactly but it’s definitely missing.
I’ve been running constantly late for everything recently. I figure if I can just insert another half an hour at a strategic point, I’ll be able to catch up. A Time Winder would be helpful right about now. Or a TARDIS. Or any time machine really. I don’t want much. I’m not asking to go back 20 years and do a reboot (as tempting as that may be). Just a little hop back, or maybe a couple of hops so I can get ahead.
I love time. Since hiding behind the cushions from the Cybermen or marvelling at a town that can have a shop that survives hundreds of years with the same shop window dummy, I’ve found time and its mysteries a fascinating topic.
The magic of time is its simultaneous steadiness and rubberiness. I mean, scientifically, time progresses in an orderly manner – 60 seconds to a minute*, 60 minutes to an hour, 24 hours to a day**, 365 days to a year*** – and yet in our day to day living the same amount of time can take all day or only a moment. Spend an hour in a tedious committee meeting and it feels like it’s gone on all night. Spend the same hour doing something you love – singing, fishing, sorting your sock drawer – and the hour disappears in seconds.
Time even changes depending on how old you are, have you noticed? When you’re a kid, summer holidays seem to last forever. The start of school is years away and you’ve got all the time in the world to do what you want. As you get older, the years seem to take less and less time to get to the end. It’s already well into October and I’m still somewhere back in the middle of May. It’s no wonder I’m running chronically late.
It gets worse when you have children. One minute you’re battling sleepless nights and toddler tantrums and the next minute they’re young men and women. (And you’re still battling sleepless nights, waiting for them to come home from a party. Time doesn’t change everything.)
Whether your life is moving through time like you have a jetpack attached or like you’re riding on the back of a giant snail, in the end the time you’re given is the time you’ve got. All you can do is make the most of it while you can.
The following song says it all. (It should. I wrote it.)
By the way, if anyone happens to find my missing half an hour, I’d appreciate a prompt return. Thanks.
*Except when they have to add that extra second every now and again because all the numbers are approximate.
**Except that the Earth actually rotates on its axis in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds.
***Except for leap years when they add another day because really a year is about 365 and 1/4 days.****
****I told you the numbers were approximate.