By: Lauren Freier, Regular Contributor
Time is a perplexing phenomenon. We kill it, race it, lose it, and revel in it. We speak of its fluctuating power to heal, erase, and enlighten, but in reality it is one of life’s greatest constants. We may rapidly shift our own movements anywhere between a sprint and a crawl, yet time never changes pace.
In our youth, we constantly complain of boredom and decide we have way too much time. As we navigate adolescence, we learn from school activities and deadlines that time is actually valuable. When we enter adulthood, we realize through extensive role obligations that time is limited. And when we are in the face of tragedy, we understand that time is everything.
Life is all about perspective, which finds itself deeply rooted in context. Take fifteen minutes, for example. When frustratingly waiting for friends who are late, fifteen minutes are wasted scrolling through mobile media. When drowsily pressing the snooze button from under the covers in the morning, fifteen minutes of slumber are savored in bliss. If only we could accrue carryover minutes in our real lives, then we could dip into savings when we crave “just one more.”
When time is in our favor, we feel powerful, confident, and free. However when we are fighting against time, we helplessly count backwards knowing an ending is imminent. Whether stealing one last glance at the place we’ve called home or falling into one last embrace with a person we love, moments become memories in the blink of an eye.
The truth of the matter is we don’t control the clock—we never have and we never will. What we do control is ourselves, and how we act on our own watch. In doing so, we can commit to living curiously and not fearfully, to acting purposefully and not carelessly, and to loving empathically and not selfishly. We can grow into a person of value, someone worth fighting for (and fighting with), and become a source of strength. Although this strength won’t give us enough muscle to stop time, it can help us realize how to make the weight of a moment feel infinite.
Lauren is a passionate writer, Beatles fanatic, celebrity gossip junkie, therapist, and mental health advocate. Her personal and professional experiences in both LA and Chicago have inspired her dedication to emotional wellness, resiliency, and self-acceptance. She holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and is a therapist at InnerVoice Psychotherapy and Consultation, a Chicago-based private practice, as well as a social-emotional health educator at a non-profit organization.
Featured image via mensrunninguk.co