Say That Again

I have spent the last many years steadfastly remaining 23 years old in my head while my body continues to defy my wishes and rudely insists on ageing. So, if I were ever given the chance to time travel, guess where I’d go back to?

There was a solid point in my life at 23 where I chose a particular path. I’ve always wondered what would have happened if I’d chosen differently. Who, what and where would I be now?

So, let’s go back and make that call I didn’t make the first time……….

Hi Mum, it’s me.

I’m fine. Really good actually. The people here are great.

I had a bit of cold last week but I’m feeling better.

Mum, I need to tell you something.

No, no, nothing’s wrong. It’s just… Well, I think…. it’s….

Yeah, sorry, keep forgetting about the time difference. Of course you want to go to bed.

Listen, can you contact the Kreisers and tell them I won’t be in Cleveland for Christmas? Oh, and you’d better let the Massies know I won’t be there for New Years.

I’m not going to go to the US in December. There’s a bunch of people from here heading to Budapest for this big youth event and I want to go.

No, I can’t actually extend my ticket. I’m going to have to cancel the return leg.

I don’t know. It kind of depends.

Well, of course I’ll come home. Eventually. I just really want to see where this leads me. Leave it open, you know?

Thanks Mum. I knew you’d understand.

Not ’til the end of December. Starts on the 28th, I think.

No, I’m still going to leave here next week as planned but Hamish is heading to Lourdes so I thought I’d tag along. I’ll have to extend my rail pass or something but…

Yeah, it is exciting. Different, you know?

It’s nearly dinner time, I have to go. I’ll let you know where I am next week. Can you explain to the others what’s happening?

Oh, I forgot about that.

No, I won’t tell work until I know when I’m coming back. I might hate it in Budapest and still want to come home in February.

Yeah, probably not the best idea to throw away a job until I’m sure.

Sorry, bell’s ringing, I gotta go.

I love you too. And Mum?

Thanks.

I wasn’t brave enough at 23 to make that decision. To throw away certainty for an open-ended journey. If I only knew then what I know now.

Of course, as I’ve said before (see this post), going back to redo only works if you can go back with what you know now. Otherwise you’ll just make the same choices. That’s when you need a time machine, not just a do-over.

Probably rip a hole in the space-time continuum, though.

Hmph. So worth it, though. (Sorry, Doctor.)

This post was written in response to the Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine.

TARDIS Phonecall

 

 

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Chasing Time

Chasing Time

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.

 

 

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