By Debbie Ogunjobi
Time is a forward moving application of the universe; it’s the life blood of events and primary determinant of our chronicles. Every year, I ponder the nature of time, especially as the years seem to run by faster and faster.
One minute you are young, the next you are old and most of us can’t explain what happened in between. Some years back I made my peace with time and I just chilled!! I got off the frenzied roller coaster of time and started paying attention to my moments.
I can’t capture time, I can’t slow it down or even reverse it, no one can; that power is not given to us mere mortals but I did come into the realisation that while time was not subject to me, I also was not subject to it. It’s very easy to start serving time when we get caught up in a race against it; it’s a folly of youth. A fruit of maturity is the application of wisdom in the management of time.
Nothing is an emergency; the truth is everything and everyone can wait; time is not anyone’s master, it’s a resource like any other to be managed and utilised just like any other.
The race is actually not to the swift!! A powerful saying most people are aware of but permit me to go a step further to ask what race? A race implies that we are all in competition against one another so let me ask again what race? More importantly why?
I think humanity derailed from the Eden experience by the sin of competition. One man against the other to outdo, outlast and outperform.
I do think it’s great to break boundaries, do great things, invent, reach new frontiers and be successful. What I question is the need for us to be pitted one against the other to be relevant; with time becoming more of a weapon or even punisher for those who can’t keep up.
The race against time which I choose to call the tick tock syndrome is now the bane of humanity; it’s responsible for most neuroses, high blood pressures and when you get to the bottom of it, even wars. The arms race between the west and Russia a few years ago was a direct consequence of the super powers flexing their muscles.
It’s even more pathetic to discover that most of the advances recorded in space are a direct result of the competition to see who got there first!
I’m all for the mission to mars, the moon and the space station but the disadvantage of anything fuelled by competition is that it’s never seen to its rightful completion once all the 1sts have been acquired! NASA has all but lost all funding and Russia has abandoned its own inter galactic quest; the race stops abruptly when people realise the futility of it (and the cost).
The best way to feel like a failure is to measure oneself against time; it’s like looking at oneself in a 7 dimensional mirror; one is bound to look ugly in some angles!! I know this from experience; I used to dread birthdays and New Years and fall into a depression as I could never satisfy my own self; running a race that was unnecessary and spirit crushing.
These days I am a lot kinder to myself and tend to be thankful to still be alive before looking at all other vanities!! I know many people have had it rough this year and so the pending holidays may seem to be heavily laden with dark clouds; I can’t deny how tough the year has been, I certainly felt it.
Time magnifies failure a 1000 fold but not doing everything we set out to do is actually not failing, I am of the opinion that we all need to pat ourselves on the back for even getting this far! The tick tock syndrome is worse at the end of the year, everyone feels like a marathon runner, out of breathe and tired! It is made even worse when we start to compare ourselves with others who seem to have had a better time of it.
Time is not the referee in the game of life; in fact life itself is not a game to be played against time or with anyone. It’s more an experience to be enjoyed, endured and survived. There will be good years and not so good years but I remind myself to dance only to the rhythm of my own beat.
So as I sat to quietly reflect on the year, I am thankful to see the finish line in sight. I am managing the tick tock syndrome with a lot of meditation and prayer. I am firmly ensconced in the warm and loving embrace of my maker so all monsters are leashed.
I had a bad fall in a bathroom some years back and while I lay down stunned I took a few checks just to be sure all was well and it applies to the way I manage life now. I was obviously alive so I took the nothing broken, nothing bleeding test! I was bruised and aching but nothing was broken and nothing was bleeding.
It’s the same check I took as I reflected on the year fast ending. I am not broken and not bleeding, and just like after that painful fall, I just have to get up and get on with it! Same as the rest of the world, these are interesting and hard times; the resources are few and opportunities are limited.
It’s easy to be crushed under responsibilities and be overwhelmed by it all but the beauty of time is that it changes! Hopefully that change will be a salve and make the times even kinder as they go tick tock!!