Four weeks ago, a small family expedition climbed Maine’s highest peak: Mt. Katahdin. It’s a fairly challenging climb; total time of the assault and retreat was just under 12 hours. Pretty tiring. I have to admit, I struggled mightily getting off the hill.
What I didn’t know was that I was brewing an abscessed tooth, leading to a root canal and painful ordeal that isn’t over yet, some 3+ weeks later. Which perhaps changed my perception of the climb and certainly has got me thinking about time in new ways. The discomfort has slowed time for me.
Time is biological and psychological. I have been in high-energy situations where time does “stand still” in several accidents, other extreme sport sorts of adventures. It seems a second can be infinitely divided in those moments.
I am now also of the age where time flies. By contrast, as kid, summer used to stretch. So much time to be bored. Today, it seems a blink before I have to seal the driveway and tighten up the house for fall.
And now this bum tooth has got me thinking about time in new ways.
We spend a lot of our adult time on the job. Eight hours a day; 1900 or so hours a year! That’s a lot of time. Time to construct a place where we envision an ideal. Where we do something meaningful and rewarding for our community and ourselves.
At age 56, I am gathering an awareness of time, the rapid passage. And yet, with some luck and diligence, I may have another 20 to 30 or more years ahead. Time that can pass in a blink. But time to “do.” To create. To learn. To love. To explore. To envision a future.
I guess this stupid tooth is making me think about how to better cherish time. And while I don’t wish a root canal on anyone, I hope you can think about mine and take the time to take time. Because time is what we have. There’s no time to lose. Only time to invest.