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Time Taking Its Time

Don't forget to value the truly valuable things in life.

By Guest Editorial  |  January 13, 2021

by Friendly Bear

Few things govern our lives more than time. Sure, gravity is right up there, but only because I've eaten a few pizzas and double cheeseburgers too many.

Friction reminds me that it's also important, like the time I was trying to take a garbage can to the street after a bunch of snow and icy weather. I fell on the ice, broke some ribs, and ended up sliding down a hill. When I finally stopped against a fence, the garage can, which had followed me as I slid, added insult to injury by landing on top of me.

Then, not realizing that my ribs were broken not just bruised, I went off to work. That was not a fun day, though I'm sure friction and gravity had a good laugh.

Time is different than the rest of physics: it gives us reason to reflect. We often measure time in seconds, minutes, days, and years. But, on a personal level, time is measured by the events that are important or formative in our lives. Thus, time is expressed by the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, when we got married, or the day we accomplished a goal.

One of my mom's friends was adopted, and her family always celebrated her "Homecoming Day". That has always seemed like a wonderful way to mark time.

For me, Christmas is always a time of reflection. My friends who are Jewish, Hindu, and Muslim, have commented to me that they have their times of reflection, too.

This Christmas, I didn't get a bunch of toys, or clothes, or candy, but I did have a safe and healthy year. A lot of people I know had coronavirus this year. Only one of them has had a prolonged illness, which has placed him in great danger. Everyone else came through after a few days to three weeks.

Some friends at a plumbing company had a rather humorous experience. Early in 2020, one of them got sick for a week and then was fine. The next week everyone else was sick for a week, which made them grumpy, but now they laugh about it.

This Christmas, I reflected on the fact that my business made it through 2020, while so many other businesses, and more importantly their people, had a bad year. I want their 2021 to be better.

Time waits for no one, but somehow time seems to slow down from Christmas to New Years. I know it doesn't really, and the perception is almost certainly like the end of a working day, a feeling that rest can finally be had. The nature of my profession requires me to work between Christmas and New Years, but for some reason it feels more relaxed, though I don't know why.

Years are like periods in games. Chess formally played has periods during which you must move, but among friends it's slower paced. Wrestling has three periods, usually a minute or a minute and a half long. When I wrestled the periods felt like they were 15 minutes long, such was the intensity.

Pets certainly perceives time differently than we do. We think of time as if it were a series of mile markers. We say things like, "Saturday I start my vacation." Instead, my dog values time spent with me, time in the park, time with his dog and people friends, time with the family.

Maybe the best Christmas present would be to start perceiving time, and what's really important, the same way as my dog.