Have you noticed that whatever the project, it takes longer than you think? Uh, like, much longer. Never, ever shorter. Definitely not your usual bell curve of averages.
Especially at this time of year, it seems. I (thankfully) didn’t host or even organize the thanksgiving food orgy this year (yay daughter!) – & even though this is my favorite holiday, it does take a certain measure of self-control to not face the next morning with regret, gi, social, or otherwise. I know from past experience that the thanksgiving to-do list can be long on tasks & also long on optimism, usually due to all those lovely heartful feelings of Fall, & knowing that we can work it out. But of course, one never accounts for the inevitable TG dinner snafus (present & past)…the cut finger (wouldda never injured myself w my pathetic Cutco knives…), the oven that won’t turn on (omg, you’ve never used it before?!), gravy disasters (hey, we can substitute grandma Ann’s fabulous cranberry sauce & yeah, butter too, OK?)…not to mention that even cutting onions & bringing the lovely bird over from the good friend’s functioning oven takes longer than you think. Yeah, geez…everything takes way longer than you think.
We humans have codified Time into months (roughly one cycle of the moon around the earth), years (one cycle of the earth around the sun), days (one rotation of the earth itself), 7 days in a week (…interesting speculation about where this came from, the most plausible to me being the 7 visible celestial bodies), 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, etc. But, none of this measurement means that we perceive time according to the math.
We all know it: irrespective of the clock, time is relative for the human primate…relative to our feelings of the moment, our memories of the past, our anxieties &/or hopes about the future. I vividly remember the moment I observed our grandson Dante understanding (at about age 2) that even though he was leaving grandma & grandpa’s home right now, he would be back in a few days…for him, this realization was a life-changing, integrating (& calming) feat of new neural connections, & a foundation for the human conceptualization of the future (as well as the past & ever-elusive present).
He (thankfully) doesn’t feel it yet, but we do…there never seems to be enough time. To cook the thanksgiving dinner, to get to the meeting, to work at staying centered, to be alive. I have a strategy that I call shedding which works pretty well when I manage to perceive that my concept of time is not equivalent to the persistent ticking of the clock: I delete. Cancel a date. Don’t cook dinner. Get a refund on the trip. Can’t make it to the meeting…so sorry, you know how it is. It’s my way of managing this way we are, the way I am. To have more time to breathe.
& sometimes (thankfully), it even feels that I’ve momentarily worked this time thing out.
True, true. It does take time for the work of staying centered. It’s honest that you call it work, because it doesn’t just happen too often by itself.