It's Harder Than It Seems
John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
January 13, 1999
Stop for a minute and just listen. Stop whatever you're doing. Stop reading this text.
That silence you might have heard (depending on where you are) is special. It's special because we take too little time in our lives to stop and listen to it. We get caught up in school, in work, in our families or friends, in whatever... and before you know it, a whole day has gone by.
When you're young, you don't notice the time as much as you do as you get older. It's not that time flies when you're having fun (although some might argue that younger people have more fun than older folks). It's that time simply doesn't matter as much when you're young. Today, tomorrow, two weeks from now. It doesn't matter. It seems to actually slow down (especially when you're in class)!
But as we get older, time does seem to speed up. Of course, all of this talk about time is simply a matter of our perceptions. Time is constant; it neither speeds up nor slows down. But as we experience this perception of a speed-up in time as we age, we also seem to lose track of time itself. It's almost as if we're so busy living our lives, we forget to stop and appreciate the lives we are living.
Taking things for granted seems to be the norm, and taking time for granted is probably the most common thing we do. I suppose it's not a horrible thing to lose track of time over weeks or months, or even years, if your life is that good and fulfilling. Few people's lives are that perfect, though.
But a quiet moment once in a while can help a person take stock of their lives, reflect, and appreciate the moment for what it is -- simply a moment in time that we are all lucky to be alive. (For instance, fifty years ago, it would be difficult to travel by plane from one place in the country (or world) to another. Computer communication was all but unheard of. Today, we can be grateful that we have so much greater access to resources, information, and help than we have ever had in the past.)
So if you do nothing else this month, take a few minutes one day to peacefully and simply reflect.
Enjoy the moment while it lasts, though, for it passes far too quickly.