I have no idea when, but once when I was younger, I asked my dad why we had to change time during the year. He told me very matter of factly that daylight saving time was: “So bankers can golf more.” Even at a young age, I felt very confident in my ability to ridicule bankers, so I went with it.
You’ll recall that I grew up on a farm, and my dad was a farmer and rancher. We’ll come back to that.
Time. We just can’t get enough of it. And dang it, it’s always moving forward. Like right now, you just read that, and you can’t get that time back. (Sorry about that, but please keep reading and then really lament that you can’t get your 5-mins back.)
While in private practice, I was starved for time. I needed more time at work (because the hours of 7am to 6pm, to work again late at night, to get back up and begin work at home at 5am, just weren’t enough), but I really wanted more time with my family and to myself. I begged the universe to slow down and give me some respite. I lived life by increments, because I billed people by the hour for work. The clock dominated my life.
In my unique world now, I still wish for more time. More time to write without repeatedly getting up from my desk to say: “Stop that!” “No writing on the walls!” “You just had a snack.” And more time to sleep, because my body and mind need so much.
Yet sometimes I get sick of how time seems to drag. I’ve been at home in such an odd holding pattern for years now. Illness, recovery, pandemic. It’s an absolute blessing for me when I’m out of the house and have some adult interaction. Time for my mind to focus on something past the four walls around me. In those limited moments, I kind of feel like time is on my side.
I’ve very much learned that the grass is always greener in the neighbor’s yard. And I’ve put some deep thought into how I view “time.” It first came to me on my Buddhism meditation podcast, “10% Happier,” when academic guest Ashley Whillans presented on it. I’ve wanted her book, “Time Smart,” ever since, but haven’t yet gotten to it. And then the other day, I listened to another favorite podcast, “The Argument,” where a lawyer and doctor conversed about why we should switch to either daylight saving time or to standard time. (The best was when I found out that daylight saving time has long been blamed on farmers, which is absolutely not true. Let me tell you, my dad never left work to golf in the afternoon/early evening, and cows like to be fed in the morning.)
In many ways, I’ve accepted that I lead a more slow-paced life. I like my time spent in writing, reading, and rest. I will never again obsess about constantly utilizing my time in ten-minute increments to maximize billing potential. But I’ve also learned that life with three children means I'll feel like I never have enough time. I’ll always be “busy,” in part by my life’s circumstances and in part because I’m me.
I’ve learned about a lot in the past three and a half years, and how to be time smart is no exception.
I’ve learned that how you spend your time has a direct impact upon your health (which is why I firmly sided with the doctor on the podcast and agree that we should all be on standard time all the time and for the love of God, why does North Dakota have to be in two time zones?!). I’ve learned that no matter what, you’ll always want more from time: want it to slow down and want it to speed up. Time never feels stagnant, it ebbs and flows. And I’m definitely working on winding my way through its currents.
How do you spend your time?
“Bob Dylan sings ‘Like a Rolling Stone’”
And time marches on, time marches on
“The South moves north, North moves south
A star is born, a star burns out
The only thing that stays the same is
Everything changes, everything changes” ~ Time Marches On by Tracy Lawrence
* Photo Cred: My Cousin Carrie and her son, AJ. This photo is of North Dakota’s beautiful Little Missouri River. She also sent me some other great photos of "home," various shots in SW ND.
** I actually wrote this blog post last fall, around the time we “fell” back. Apparently, I didn’t get around to posting it. Thus, publishing it now when we’ve “sprung” ahead, and I’m still angered about the time change.