Or, more of what I’m thinking … WHERE THE HELL DOES THE TIME GO!?
Do you ever NOT have a July-December where you don’t think this? I wonder if our parents, or their parents felt the same – that time passed faster and faster as the years ticked by.
Why does this happen? The # of seconds in a minute doesn’t change. The earth still makes a trip around the sun in the same 365.256 days, of which each is still 24 hours long. Why does it SEEM to go by so much faster? I have two thoughts for your consideration:
- We are lost in our screens. We are so connected, so ON, all the time we are living on autopilot and are unaware of much of the time that passes. Like driving to / from a familiar destination – work, parents, grocery store – we can leave the house and arrive at our destination without actually remembering the drive. We’ve all done it. The drive – and our life can get be something we go through on autopilot without even needing to be aware. We wake up, and we’re there. Or, we wake up and it’s next year. -or-
- We are “in the flow”. We are one of those fortunate souls who spends much of our lives “in the flow”. (Living in the flow is one of my standards for 2018. More on this later.) “In the flow” – we’ve all experienced it. “Flow” is a psychological term meaning to be consciously in inner-harmony with whatever you’re doing. For example, if you enjoy painting,
playing the piano, coin collecting – you are totally and singly focused – immersed in doing what you’re doing without an awareness of the world around you. (I’ve just purchased the book, FLOW by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi and find it to be very interesting – a bit technical, but so very interesting. The link, btw, is an affiliate link.)
Connected or in Flow – both render you almost oblivious to the time that’s passing. The first happens from a lack of being present in your life. The latter results from being totally immersed in the present. Exact opposites. In #1, you’re consciously oblivious to where you are, what you’re doing. In #2, where you are and what you’re doing is the ONLY thing you are consciously aware of. You are living your life.
(Disclaimer – We are not professional counselors nor social workers and we don’t play either here on Heels and Tevas. All our commentaries are based on personal experiences and are our own opinions. We think our lives are going pretty well and it’s working for us. Read on at your own risk.)
If you find yourself relating more to #1 than to #2, what can you do? There are certainly any number of factors that contribute to how each of us goes through our daily lives, but I have a couple of suggestions:
- TURN OFF YOUR SCREENS – smartphone, tablet, computer… Establish screen-free times – non-negotiable. No on silent / vibrate. No dings for texts or emails. OFF. (Your palms are starting to sweat and your heart is starting to race, right?)You can ease into it if you’re completely freaking out. But, scheduling screen-free zones and/or times can make a huge impact. Give it a try and see.For me, I set mealtime and bedtime as screen-free times. Whether I’m eating alone at
home, with Kurt, with guests or out at a restaurant – no screen. The phone is in another room or in my purse. It’s not on the table. My other screen-free time is bedtime. No checking email, Facebook, shopping nor Kindle book at night in bed or before I get up in the morning. I’ve reverted to a REAL book for in-bed reading. (Here’s what I’m reading now. The Rosie Project. Think Sheldon (Big Bang Theory) meets Tiffany Maxwell (Silver Lining Playbook) as they search for Tiffany’s birth father. Hilarious. BTW, the book link to Amazon is an affiliate link.)
- Be present. Live old school during meals and have a conversation. If you eat alone, check in with yourself. There’s nothing that can take you away from where you are and what you’re doing than getting lost online, whether it’s Facebook, shopping, or texting.
I’d say make being present one of your resolutions, but I’ve found making resolutions to be much like setting RULES. Rules can feel restrictive and put you in a negative mindset from the start.
“I CAN’T do this”.
“I HAVE to do that”.
RULES don’t work well for me. I am thinking about what I want to accomplish and yes, I’ve outlined the steps I need to take in order to make the thing(s) happen. But instead of setting the tasks or actions that have to be completed as resolutions, or the goals themselves, I think about how I have to live in order to reach those goals. I’m setting standards for myself; three, to be exact. Living in the flow, is one. You can also translate that to live in the present, Be present, or – if you want to look at it from a negative perspective – Don’t waste time. I prefer to approach life from a positive perspective. My 1st 2018 Standard is: Live in the Flow.
If you’re interested in the process I use, I’m happy to share. Barb, is too. We’re still distilling hopes and goals down into life standards for 2018 but we’ll share with you next week when done. Look for something by 12 December (our self-imposed deadline). If you want to see it, let us know here. We’re happy to share here. We’d like to know how you think about your year and plan for the important goals you have. Let us know what you think.
Nice one, Lynnelle. I, too, am working on how I want my 2018 to be and how I can make that happen. My first step is to work to “clean up” 2017. Instead of starting 2018 with a list of shoulds, to-dos, and left-overs (as I have frequently done in the past), I’m working to complete (or let go of) as many of those items as I can before the New Year. Now, I will admit that the lifestyle EW and I have chosen allows me to have more time for this than others may have. Once we set sail we stopped going to many holiday parties, giving one, hosting Christmas, buying tons of presents, and sending Christmas cards so now I have more time to simply enjoy my favorite parts of the holiday season and to get ready for the coming year. This year, I will set aside time in December for cleansing, cleaning, and tidying up the laptop, finances, and other things. Far more important, I will also let go of my “sins”, forgive myself and others, and move on with an open heart, an open mind.