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  • Laura Ryder

The Weekly Catharsis: Time

Thank you again to everyone who took the time to gather thoughts inspired by the word "time" and put them on paper. This week's collection of cathartic notes includes a song - a lovely expansion, and a reminder that our thoughts can come out in different formats. To that end, everything from a song to a poem is welcome as part of The Weekly Catharsis so if your thoughts are expressed in that way, they're very welcome!

I’m finding these days that time is both my saviour and my persecutor. When I am feeling good, noticing the positives my changed circumstances has brought, I think how lovely it would be for time to pause, for things to stay as they are for longer. I’m enjoying the slower pace. I love that I am finding a space to bake most days. I really like the time I’m spending in the garden, both working and playing. Other days the thoughts of continuing as we are until May 5, and probably longer, seems interminable. What once seemed like heaven can very quickly change to hell.

But it strikes me that the only thing that actually changes is my perception, how I am experiencing the time going by.

And it’s funny, that is both empowering (if all that it takes is me changing my perspective, then surely I have the power to turn any situation into a good experience?) and leaves me feeling powerless (because I have yet to master changing my perception at will).

...a song about how sometimes we just have to watch the world turn and wait around and do nothing.


Waiting 

[V1] 

Holding out waiting for something, waiting for someone & I worry about it.

Holding out waiting for sometime, waiting for somewhere & thinking about it.

[Chorus:] 

& Yes, it's alright

To feel that moment pass you by

& Yes, it's okay

To be alone

Take your time and find your way back home

[V2] 

Thought that I would wait for no one, cause waiting no fun, & I nearly had it. 

Thought that I could get me by, without the joyride, & I nearly did it. 

[Chorus] 

[V3] 

Looking out reaching towards something, climbing higher than mountains & I nearly caught it. 

Looking at forever in front of me & I think it'll swallow me, if I think about it. 

[Chorus]

Time, ugh, that word frustrates me. I struggle with time. I think I even fear time! 

I never feel like I have enough, but I also waste a lot of it.

It moves so fast that days and weeks seem to just blend in on each other. I make plans for the future and, before I know it, the future is here with a lot not done and yet I look back I wonder what I spent my time doing (mood and anxiety being a culprit) and then I get anxious that I have now lost time! 

Even now, during the covid crisis, when so much time has been released by the restrictions in place, I feel like I still just don't have enough. I enjoy the pace of these days.

The limited commitment that can be made to anything or anyone, but those close to my cocoon, is liberating.

(I am not 'cocooning' but it does still feel like being in a safe cocoon with only an odd trip to the shop and nice walks on sunny days). One thing at a time being done in the calm surrounds of my quiet home (and quiet mind) creates a wonderful pace to life - probably quite boring really, but I'm happy with boring!

But...there is a nagging feeling in the background that this time won't be for long and so there's really not enough time.

I try to return to now and just in enjoy it while it's here but that nag keeps managing to poke. And then of course there's the guilt for wanting to hold on to this time, when it is a time of anxiety for our country and a devastating time for so many. Of course I want that time to end and the disease to disappear, I just want to hold on to the freedom (aka restrictions)! 

I can never remember a time when I felt such a collective obsession with time, or more specifically dates. For me, key dates are/were only really in place to mark celebrations, always future dates, even when we were marking or remembering something from the past. Now most of us are longing for a date when we can go back, back to how life was before, back when freedom of movement was something we never thought about, unless of course we were seeking permission to extend a trip that we were free to take initially.

On the other hand, there are those among us who view this as a time to reflect on “what we don’t want to return to”. I’m still not sure what side of the fence I sit or even lie on, as some days now I’m am genuinely baffled at how I much I “used” to achieve in one day.

I once read that the way “to feel time was to write”. The truth is, this time has conjured up a lot of confusing emotions for me but somehow the one thing I know for sure is that I want to feel this time. 

I have found myself reflecting on the many times in my life where I have willed the time to go faster, often mentally estimating how much time had gone or remained when I found myself in situations that were both uncomfortable but necessary and others, where I felt obliged and helpless.

Time stirs up restless and stressful thoughts and emotions for me.

Traditionally, the image of sand is used to represent time. And that of an old man with a long beard wearing sandals was the keeper (I hope I’m not confusing him with Jesus!). I find this image strangely comforting, almost as if this man is too relaxed to rush any of us. Certainly, I often wish he would spend a bit more time filtering out some of the seaweed and rocks that hurt or make us feel stuck and leave us with clean, filtered, golden sand.

 Sometimes when I worry about time it feels like sitting on a sinking boat where the water keeps coming despite desperate attempts to scope out the danger.

Gerry Hussey the sports psychologist believes that it is wrong to say “we only live once” but rather “We only die once; we get to live everyday”. Maybe I am in some deep Covid 19 induced naivety, it is extremely likely! but I find those words along with the image of my long-haired bearded man gently controlling our sand far more comforting.

My low battery tells me it is time to go, so one last time, here is one last quote. definitely my favourite of all time.

“it’s never too late or in my case too early” “There’s no time limit” “There are no rules to this thing”. F. Scott Fitzgerald

What is time?

Do we need it? Why does it sometimes seem to fly by and in other moments it stands still? 

The older I get the more it feels like time nearly doesn't exist. Days race by, months fly and years seem to just wave as they spin into the past. But I know that this is not true. I know factually every day has the same amount of hours. 

So why does time seem to behave so differently? 


I think it's tied to how you're feeling, what your emotional state is. 

There are a few times that I remember my life standing still. 

The moment my mother told us she was leaving our dad. This time in my life seemed so so long, but in reality it was a few days. The emotions tied to this time made it feel like a lifetime of pain. 

Both times when my patents in law died, the feelings were the same, the days around the funeral seemed to last forever. The pain so raw. 

And yet there are also very happy moments that also stand perfectly still, the world holding it's breath. The birth of my children, those amazing moments when you meet your child for the first time. The happy blissful awe you feel. The love that makes you feel you're going to burst open. 

People always say you have to make the most of every day, as you can't get it back and time waits for no one. Yes this is true, but I believe that you need to use your time as you need to. Sometimes you need to just hang around. Not be productive or exercise or eat healthy, just be. This isn't a waste if time,I believe it's time for your soul to renew, to breath, to just be with you. 
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