A Box of Time
by Kath Thompson
So, it’s over. (Xmas, that is.) It was sweet –and certainly buttery!
I got some techy gifts (a new internet router and a new version of Wanda, my GPS) some clothes and of course, books.
But what I really wanted was not under the tree.
What I really wanted, and ask for every year and never get, was a big Box of Time.
I wish Amazon sold gift cards for the time it takes to read all the books they sell. Wouldn’t that be amazing? I think they need to get on that. Seriously.
I did get a book entitled, The Time Paradox by Philip Zimbardo, which says it will help me “Reclaim Yesterday, Enjoy Today, and Master Tomorrow.”
I really doubt it, but who knows? It could happen.
But that’s not what I really want to do: I don’t want to reclaim yesterday or master tomorrow, I just want to feel like a day is a really long amount of time.
The last time I felt time slow down to the point where everything took it’s fair share and not more, or less, was when I was on retreat at Springwater.
When you go on retreat, you put your life on “hold” for awhile. You get off the gerbil wheel. Everything stops moving.
At first it’s unnerving and you hate it and try to make believe you’re still very busy and everything is critically important. You try to make the retreat into a job and you try to do everything perfectly and efficiently and ahead of schedule.
And then you realize that a day is already perfect in design and proportion and you just have to insert yourself into it.
On retreat I would spend whole afternoons, and I mean from 1PM to 4 PM, just lying on my back on the lawn, looking at clouds.
And at night, I’d sit out and look at stars.
It took an eternity to eat a bowl of oatmeal.
The day started before dawn and ended after dark. A day there was actually 24 hours long. An hour there took a whole hour and not it’s usual 15 minutes.
(I once worked for a woman who used to describe being “over-booked” as trying to “stuff 10 pounds of baloney into a 5 pound bag.” That’s a good image. I like the word “baloney” too. It resonates.)
I know it’s silly of me to want a Box of Time. Every day is already an empty box filled to the brim with time. The “art” of living a conscious, productive, amazing life, is to fill the box neatly and carefully.
It helps to imagine that all your activities are eggs. Each one needs its own spot. You can’t jam too many in, or they’ll all break and you’ll have a colossal mess on your hands. Only so many eggs can fit in a box and there has to be a little bit of space, a little bit of padding, between each one.
Part of my hope for this New Year is to pack the eggs better. I want to fill my basket with lots of eggs and have no broken ones at the end of the day because I will have calculated properly the length, breadth and depth of a single day.