The clocks went back in New Zealand at midnight last night. I woke up this morning with a whole extra hour to my name.
An extra hour. For a short while, I felt like a rich lady.
Let’s face it, the only thing worth a jot in life, is time.
Time, shows up in life as two guises.
There is time rich. When the hours roll along languidly . Hands, stretching lazily around the face of the clock, surrendering at the last moment to reach reluctantly over to the next minute waiting in line. Remember that time? When you have devoured three whole pages of your favourite book. Been cuddling with your newborn baby, laying , just smelling their head. Painting your toes. Wandering along a beach, a park, through the streets of a new city. Waiting for a bus, waiting for an appointment. Waiting for the blue line to appear in the window. Those times.
When you look to the clock and find, just 2 small minutes have passed…
And then, there’s the other sort of time. Time poor.
The mean one.
The one that taunts us. The one that can run faster, much faster than we can. Time that, when we arrive at the finish line at the end of the day, head falling with exhaustion onto the waiting pillow, is there. Smug. Arms folded, legs crossed, head cocked , as if to say “what kept you?”
As I lay in bed this morning, I wandered which one I would be encountering today. I knew which one I’d rather dance with, but it seems that the choice is often not ours to take. My mind, saying “do this! do that! you’ve got loads of time” (an extra hour!).
In reality, I felt the hands of time, taunting me. Dragging me , kicking and screaming, towards mid morning , and before I knew it, my lie in had gone over time and that familiar feeling of ‘running out of time’ came over me.
Children it seems, have a very simple philosophy on these matters. I decided to ask the oracle that is my 12-year-old daughter, her thoughts on the matter. Resisting the urge to say, “Tell me quickly!” I instead calmly asked:
“Tess. Why do you think it is, that sometimes time just whizzes past, and other times the time just goes so slowly ( I know. That’s a lot of times…)
“Oh, that’s easy. Time goes really slowly when you’re concentrating on just one thing “
The words of professor Higgins spring to mind. ‘By Jove, I think she’s got it’
The baby, the reading, the bus, the blue window…
To Concentrate on one thing . Otherwise known as mindfulness. To be mindful.
Mind :The seat of consciousness. The focus of ones thoughts. To apply oneself to. To concern oneself with. To give heed to. To notice.
I set myself a small task. It was to empty the dishwasher . I know- my life oozes excitement- but, I made sure that I focused on that , and that alone. Looking at every cup, placing it in the correct drawer (Ok, ramming it into the other cups because there was no space) but really concentrating on just that.
It was quite unbelievable. That whingeing dishwasher, that dishwasher, that in my household, sits there like a burping, overstuffed aubergine, constantly whining, “I’m full… empty me …” was unburdened of its contents in about 90 seconds flat. Done.
I went on. Little things, that I needed to do. Brush my teeth , fold the washing, phone the piano teacher and cancel the lesson.
All of these things I found were done in a moment. A focused , concentrated, moment. Stress free.
Try it. It works. I promise.
I made it to about 12pm. But tomorrow I’m going to have another practice. And the day after that , and the day after that too. I am waging a war against the time thief that goes by the name of poor. I am determined to win.
Give yourself one task to do. Just one. And focus your complete attention to whatever it is you’re doing.
Watch what happens to the time.
Just promise me one thing? That if you ram two cups inside of each other to make more space… Do it mind fully .