Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Life in Quarters

By Belinda

I don't think that I will ever stop pondering time. I am fascinated with its perception and passage; measuring and musing about it, and trying to harness and hold something as slippery as a pile of colourful silk scarves in a summer sidewalk sale.

For all its futility, it keeps my mind occupied pleasantly and is something I like to think about.

I shared with some friends recently the mixed blessing of being a "here--now" type of person. The blessing is being able to intensely appreciate the moment you are in; the down side is being slow to move on to "next" and getting stuck sometimes in the fascinating occupation of the "now."

I have "next" people in my family. Paul naturally gears up for whatever is "next;" and very early on, I have to say. He is always ready to leave a full ten minutes before he has to, so intent on "next" is he. I, on the other hand, happily absorbed in my "now, reluctantly pull up anchor whenever we go somewhere together. (I am listening to Caroline Alexander’s book,The Bounty, at the present, which is why, I think, there is a nautical theme slipping in.)

My latest thoughts on time are flowing a little bit from the fact that in a little over 5 years I plan to retire. When you are this close to that blissful land of "free" time, it would be easy to coast along until then like a piece of driftwood. I don't want to do that, so I have been thinking a lot about it.

Something popped into my head that helped to focus my thinking. It occurred when pondering the swift approach of the end of March, so close on the heels of Christmas. "A quarter of the year has gone by already," I thought, with the amazement shared by friends who wonder "where the summer went." Or any other season for that matter.

It occurred to me that thinking of time in quarters of  years, changes 5 years into 20 swift passing quarters. That was just what I needed in order to realize how little time 5 years really is.

I have never been the kind of person that was any good with 5 year goals. But I can think of what I want to accomplish in the next quarter, or a year comprised of 4 quarters. Or 5 years comprised of just 20 quarters.
If I think of there only being 3 quarters until Christmas, it makes me want to plan better so that everything isn't squished into the last quarter, thus making it the Crazy Quarter! I don't know yet if I can do it, but I'm going to give it a try.

And, how did we ever find ourselves at the end of March already?

Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.
Michael Landon


Suz said...

We often miss today by looking ahead to tomorrow but you are right, time passes so quickly that today becomes tomorrow in the blink of an eye.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Susan said...

It makes a lot of cents that your life is built on quarters.

Mine is just full of loonies.

Belinda said...

Ha ha! Well, I am in it--what does that make me? :)

Susan said...

You're at least a five dollar bill.

Or we could turn you upside down and shake you and see what falls out.

You game? I heard that can add five years onto your life! :)