What’s Happened To Time?

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November 1, 2015

After the neighborhood Halloween parade and hoards of imaginatively costumed kids coming to the door for treats last night, I set the clock back an hour, did some reading, and went to bed. This morning I woke to rain and gray clouds lit by the sun lost somewhere in the ether. Tonight it will be dark when I cook dinner and I’ll be grumpy because I hate it when the time changes.

Wouldn’t it be better to just get used to being on one time cycle instead if changing it every spring and fall? Well maybe. But who knows. We’ll never get a chance to figure it out.

On one level, I’ve been longing for this fall-behind-time because it’s been dark at 6:15 AM which is when I prefer to rise and shine. I’m a morning person and like to have all my heavy lifting and creative work done by early afternoon. But if it’s dark when the alarm goes off, the plan falls apart and I’m running late for my very important dates.

At almost seventy-three years old I lag a bit in the late afternoon. At that time of day, I prefer to read or visit with friends. When I’m way behind, which seems to be a  constant these days, I can’t necessarily do that. But I keep on keeping as best I can.

With darkness encroaching an hour earlier this evening, I’ll have the opposite problem. I’ll want to close the blinds and snuggle in my bed at 8:00 PM. If I do that I’ll  miss going to the movies and other fun things which  just get started at that time. Because I don’t like missing out, I’ll go out anyway. But I’ll be yawning all the way and occasionally my head will nod off. I might even let out a snort when I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.

Other people my age complain about the the lack of time and how much longer it takes to get things done when our hair grays. What we want is more time.  We’ve got bucket lists of things we want to do. I’ve always wanted to go to Mongolia and visit Africa again. But when I think about the hours it will take to get to those places while being stuck in a narrow seat with little to no leg room, I have second thoughts. I’m not sure I’d be able to get my legs to work after a long flight like that.

Perhaps I should trade in that old list for one that has shorter trips involved, like seeing more of my own country, while visiting old friends who are scattered from one end to the other. On the top of that new list, I’ll get less specific and include things like have fun, laugh a lot, and be grateful for every moment, regardless of where I happen to be.

I’ve made huge strides this past year in simply slowing down and allowing myself space to breathe and stretch my mind. I’m taking weekends and most evenings off from work. Sunday brunch followed by a movie is a wonderful treat, as is taking long walks, then putting my feet up and catching up some of our favorite tv shows we record.


Time management has always been an issue for me. The time I gain by letting a few old interests go quickly fills with new things and I’m back at square one.  But I shouldn’t complain.  I’m never bored and I’m grateful for all of the choices I have.

Do you have enough time to do all that you want and need to do?


  1. I enjoyed that – I agree – mid70’s, and living far away from family in the mountains seems different now – lack of energy in the afternoons’ is common – the tree die-out, and “fire watch” in these drought years has been stressful, not to mention my new resident under my house; a skunk -“Expect the unexpected”, I’ve always said – but times ARE different!

    • Joan Rough says:

      You’ve had a lot on your mind with the fires and drought. Are you going to stay put or move closer to your kids? Mark lives about 5 miles away but we don’t see him much and of course Lisa is at least 6 hrs. away if you have green lights all the way and don’t have to stop and pee. But we are living right in Charlottesville, now and everything we need is very close by.

      Say Hi to your skunk for me. We had one living under our porch in Vermont. She settled in because there was a bird feeder nearby and she’d eat all the seeds that fell to the ground.