Tuesday, April 2, 2013

on time.

There is a section of our favorite antiques store in town, entirely devoted to clocks. Old ones, new ones, forgotten ones. And sometimes I like to go stand in front of the clocks, just to hear the pitter-patter, knocking, clicking sound comprised by all of their unanimous ticking. Because in that moment, I feel like I may be just a little bit in charge of time itself. It feels so much like a tangible thing in those moments, even though I know it's not.

I am one of those people who, at the thought of time plummeting forward, with no concern for me or how I feel about it, can be sent either into a mild or Earth-shattering panic attack, depending on what kind of day it's been. The uncontrollable passage of time leaves me feeling helpless, sad, forlorn, & even ragged, at times.

I am paralyzingly terrified of waking up one day & realizing that I'm horribly old & lonely, with all of my loved ones either gone or too far away to reach. And just the simple act of typing those words has brought tears to my eyes, at the realization & simplicity of that sentiment. Because I've never before been able to articulate exactly what it is that sometimes keeps me up at night, worrying.

So, what is the solution in all of this? Well, of course, I believe it lies in the slowing down of time. That is, to the most extreme degree that this is possible. Obviously, I can't stop the hands ticking away on a clock, even if I am visiting them at my own will in an isolated corner of an antiques shop.

But, I can slow down. I can choose to look around me. I can choose to be present. I can choose to laugh heartily & as much as I want. I can choose to really listen to my favorite songs, drinking them in like the elixir of life, like I used to do when I was young & impressionable. I can remember how to be tender & naive & hopeful. I can breathe in the scent of the coffee before I take the first sip. I can look into your eyes when you are talking to me, rather than at anything at all else. I can breathe deeply, feel thankful, cherish the daily grind. 

What do you do to slow down time? How do you grapple with the terminable feeling that life sometimes has? Please, help me in this arduous quest.

photo: the clocks at the ivy cottage \ instagram

5 comments:

Sarah // The Quixotic Chica said...

Lauren, this is so beautiful. The passing of time really can be frightening, I think maybe because it is so completely out of our control. We cannot pause the years, we cannot stop aging, and no matter how hard we fight, the world will keep turning. It can be so easy to despair in that, but I think your thoughts about slowing down moments are where we find hope. For me, mindfulness has been a wonderful way to quell the anxiety and find peace and enjoyment in those tiny moments that matter so much. Being present assures that I feel and experience what is happening around me and brings me into the moment as an active contributor. Sometimes slowing down to smile and reflect as it is happening, if even to briefly say to myself, "This is really nice" or "What a special connection I have with this person," is enough. I might not be able to change that time goes on, but I can change my experience of that time and make sure that those moments haven't slipped by unnoticed.


Thank you for sharing this, Lauren!

Rachel said...

Wonderful post! I feel it is a constant struggle of mine especially as of late to be 100% in the present moment! How could something so simple be so difficult? I try to remind myself that ten years ago I couldn't wait to see where my life would be now. Now that I am here I want to know what is to come. I am constantly chasing time and the future when in reality I have everything that I need and so much more right in front of me! Enjoy the adventure that is today!

siddathornton said...

exactly! being present is so simple, yet it's something i have to remind myself to do ALL THE TIME. it makes life so much more enjoyable when i enjoy everything around me, all the time. it's my ultimate goal to feel & remember everything.

siddathornton said...

thank you for everything you've said in this comment. it's comforting to know that you know exactly what i'm talking about. thinking those types of affirmations to myself are exactly what i turn to, when i'm trying to absorb what's going on around me, so i can really remember.

Sarah // The Quixotic Chica said...

You are so very welcome! Again, this was such a beautiful post. Finding hope and pleasure in small moments are what get me through life, whether it's a hard time or a great time.