I have always had this tug of war going on with TIME. She’s been this fickle adversary with Jekyll and Hyde-ish tendencies. During the school year I’m on this treadmill running frantically to get things done and keep up with the demands of school and home life. During these moments TIME feels like an annoying trainer from the gym- standing in my sweaty bubble yelling for me to pick up the pace. “Get out of my face!” I shriek in my head as there isn’t enough oxygen to squeak it out as I silently sweat from my eyes.
After this manic marathon through the school year, all of a sudden summer arrives. TIME is no longer that militant motivator. TIME transforms to an upper-class Victorian woman who sleeps late and lounges on chaises ringing for tea. I wake up that first morning of summer and roll over to look fondly at my friend, TIME. We giggle conspiratorially over our shared secret that the next month or so will be our life of leisure. I love my summers when the pace slows down and I can breathe.
This juxtaposition of time and how it affects my life has always been a source of conflict for me. Over the years, it has made me long for the dream of working from home where I’m not a slave to time. Each day I would have a leisurely morning coffee in my jammies with my dog at my feet while I work from the kitchen table. Luxurious!
Now in the midst of this pandemic, time has come to a screeching halt. Don’t go out. Stay at home. Only go out for essential things. I should be jumping for joy and twirling through my home, but I don’t feel that way.
My spring break began as Canada was suddenly shutting down and implementing measures to fight COVID-19. Sure I spent a ton of time reading, lounging around, binge-watching new shows, and taking my dog for walks. But I didn’t feel that sense of peace that comes with summer. Maybe it’s the restrictions on outings, the constant barrage of anxiety-riddled news, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead for my students. It is also the exponential rate of change at a global level.
I think what these unprecedented times have made me realize is that I need to stop this unhealthy relationship with TIME. It should not be the friend or foe relationship. Not feast or famine.
Time is on my side. Yes it is, Rolling Stones!
Time is what we make of it. If I want to spent hours reading a book, then so be it. When I am feverishly focused for hours on report cards, then it is what it is.
The important thing is to find gratitude at all times. Gratitude during my drill-sergeant hectic work schedule. Gratitude during the languorous hours eating bon bons through a season of Outlander. Embrace the gratitude in all of these moments.
What am I grateful for today?
First it was the trek up the hill to glimpse the lake and new spring flowers, with a close second being the desk-side delivery of chips and dip from my daughter. During all our moments in time we need to stop, savour and appreciate.
So in the next few weeks as we maneuver these historic events, I will make peace with TIME and appreciate each and every moment as it comes.