The Speed of Time

There are a lot of theories about time.

According to Ben Franklin, “Time is money.”

Leo Tolstoy said time is one of the most powerful warriors. The other, in case you’re wondering, is patience.

And Oscar Wilde revealed that the antagonist of time is punctuality.

Everyone has an opinion.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately. I’ve always considered time to be a lifelong companion, a partner traveling with me through life. I often listen with feelings of betrayal when others speak against time, calling it a thief, a storm that we’re all lost in, something that can be wasted or thrown away.

And although I’ve sometimes wondered if the speed of time is working against me, I’ve never truly bought into the thoughts that time is something to be feared or hated. It has always seemed pointless (and a little rude) to try to fight the progression of it, because even as a child, I knew its existence was inevitable. I needed time as much as it needed me, so why not befriend it early and celebrate its passing?

The effects of time most often take a front-row seat during times of transition, like when your child is about to start their senior year of high school. It’s a time that felt so far away.

Yet… here we are.

The phrase I heard a friend say recently as she celebrated her daughter’s graduation was, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

It hit home in many ways. It also made me think deeper about the tempo of time. Is it fast or slow? How can it be both at the same time? Why does it seem to sometimes move at different rates?

Then it hit me, almost as if time itself was answering me in my heart.

Time moves at the speed it needs to in every moment.

It often seems like time races forward. It’s during these times when we too race forward in our journeys, in our evolution, in our stories. There are other days when time seems to drag on. If you’ll notice, it’s on these days when we need a slow motion period to adjust, process, or consider our next move.

And then there are those rare, sweet moments when time stands still, almost as if it is giving us permission to savor and build a core memory.

Time moves at the speed it needs to in every moment.

We all too often look back at even the days that were long and wish they had moved slower. But do we really?

Nostalgia has a way of making things look different from afar. There are moments we’ve all had when, at the time, we were thankful for the speed of the clock’s progression. And others when we tapped into the energy and requested it slow down just a bit.

For me, as a parent looking back at my son’s life up to this point, I realize the progression of time had little to do with me. I was witnessing his progression at the speed that served him best.

Time moves at the speed it needs to in every moment.

It’s only when we look back that we wish it had moved a little slower.

As I write this, I can feel the lump forming in my throat and my eyes starting to fill with water. But I realize it’s all brought on by joy for the gifts time has been serving along the way. I’m so thankful that my dear friend, time, reminded me in those moments to channel my energy and try to the best of my ability to match my son’s excitement.

Instead of being sad that my son was growing up, I can look back and see that I allowed myself to truly be in each moment and feed off my son’s joy because he was living his story… and I’ve gotten a front-row seat all along.

Of all of the opinions out there about time, it seems Eleanor Roosevelt’s is the most accurate.

“Today is a gift. That is why it’s call the present.”

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