Something weird happens to one's perception of time as one gets older. Time seems to move more quickly, for one thing. Wasn't it only yesterday that we were entering the 21st century? Who could even believe it? That was 11 years ago, and as far as I am concerned those 11 years have passed in a flash.
But for me the weirdness about time is more personal than that. Up until now there have been so many demands on my time that I rarely got to even think about what I would do if I had a day completely to myself. Responsibilities related to raising children and working a job drove my waking hours. Many times there were far more tasks than hours in the day.
Some people like being busy. They deliberately keep their schedules packed with things to do and places to go. I have always coveted whole days in which I need do nothing but think and read and maybe swim; whole days where I would not be required to produce anything tangible to show for my efforts, so to speak.
Now that those days have arrived I seem more rushed than when I was rushing around. These days, though, it is more mental than physical. It is an "I'm beginning to run out of hours" type of rushed. I can be two thirds of a way through a book, and if it is not holding my interest as I think it should, I set the book down and could care less how the story ends. I don't have time for mediocre books.
I find myself looking in the back of my crossword puzzle book for answers that I would have stubbornly worked out for myself at a younger age. I taught my children that working jigsaw puzzles while looking at the cover, was the "cheaters way" or at least the "lazy man's way". Now they get mad at me because I am always peeking at the cover. "Come on folks, we need to get this thing done!" is my new mantra.
When I am busy doing something, even something purely recreational, I have this need to cram in as much as I can, and at the same time I want to enjoy large periods of doing nothing productive at all.
Do I feel that I am running out time? Perhaps I have begun to face my own mortality. Or maybe finding the right perspective on time is a lifelong problem that we struggle with at every age. After all, we were not created for time.
We were created for eternity.