Lately, I’ve begun to think outside of time, outside of days. After all, time is a man-made notion. 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year (save those nasty leap years), an uncertain amount of years in a life. The hard beginnings and hard endings of days and years are the catalysts of unhappiness. Ask yourself: Why is it that we discard years and weeks as, “Oh that was a bad year, a bad week”? Surely, that attitude is at the root of, “That was a bad life.” We tend to start new years with the motto of, “A new year, a new you.” Usually, that mindset fails by February as less and less people start showing up at the gym. We cannot reset our lives, or by extension, our attitudes, when a clock strikes midnight. They are ongoing; they are continuous. The sun doesn’t announce itself with an, “Okay, I’m up! Now is your chance to seize the day!” It just rises. It just sets. It kisses the moon on its way down, on its way up. Life is ongoing. There is no “bad week.” There is only the accumulation of cycles and sunrises and sunsets that you have woken up for and slept through. Show up for life, not for a new day.
I started working full time this September. With defined work hours (catch the bus at 7:34am; 7:21 am if I’m feeling extra ambitious, sit at my desk from 9am-5:30 pm, take some time for myself at lunch, go for a run if I’m not too tired when I get home, watch some TV with my parents, fall asleep, restart), I found myself feeling like an outsider watching what was supposed to be my life. As someone who’s always really enjoyed the small moments of life that seem to exist in their own realm (a deep sigh at the top of a cliff, that smiling eye contact with the one you love, writing the perfect sentence, a person laughing to themselves on the street), I could feel something was wrong – that I had somehow been losing sight of what I once loved. I felt that time was passing me by. I’ve realized since that it wasn’t time passing me by, it was myself letting life pass me by.
And so I’ve begun to think in moments. Like a pendulum swinging back and forth, some things are sure to repeat over and over. But, like a sunrise or sunset, the colors that swim in the sky right before the sun shows itself or says goodnight are never quite the same. When looking back at your life, it should be a swirl of colors that have painted your life — not the amount of years you have lived. I now try to remember moments such as, “The rhythm of the man snoring next to me today on the bus hinted only at the best of dreams,” instead of, “Monday was average.” Surely, that’s the best way to spend your life.
“Saturdays, holidays, easy afternoons, lazy days, sunny days, nothing much to do.”
Our individual creativity is under attack from our hyper-connected, over-scheduled, over-stimulated way of life. Research shows that problem-solving and critical thinking require letting our minds wander where they may.
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