“All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that.” – Baltasar Gracian
I’ve been thinking at lot about time lately. Mostly because we’re expanding our hours here at Good Neighbor and I’m trying to make sure I haven’t forgotten any regular appointments or personal obligations when creating the new hours. I’ve already found that I did miss one thing – our Good Neighbor Board Meeting. We meet the fourth Tuesday of each month at noon, our new hours include Tuesday 11:00AM – 5:00PM. For May and June we’ll be looking to our neighbors or the library to reserve a meeting space. What else have I overlooked?
The slight anxiety associated with making this change has offered opportunities for my reflections on time. It seems I either know people who have too much time and feel it passes too slowly or people who feel that there is never enough time to do what needs to be done and feel that time flies by. Both of these scenarios bring tension and angst. I think of my 99-year old friend who moved to assisted living a year ago. He tells me each time I visit that it’s painful to get out of bed some days, thinking of how slowly time will pass as he waits for dinner or a visit or anything other than reading and television to mark the hours. Then I think of children traveling in cars – how many “are we there yets” can one fit into a car ride? The people on both ends of the age spectrum wish for magical time machines that transport them from “right now” to “what I’ve been waiting for.”
Then, there are people who have many more tasks in their days than time to do them, people like me. I wish there were more time in the morning to do a few tasks before work. I wish there were more hours in the evening to get things done, to visit with my family, to knit, to read all those books on my list. I wish that bill that is due next week was not due until next month. I wish it didn’t seem like you just arrived to visit me and now it’s time for you to leave. I want hold my finger on the dial of my watch to see if I can slow time down.
I hope the change in hours at Good Neighbor will foster a better relationship with time for our clients. How great it would be if they could feel less anxious about getting to our office before we close. For some people who were used to the morning hours at Good Neighbor, they have fewer days each week to choose morning hours. For those who could not be here in the morning, they now have two days when they can come in late afternoon after work or school to visit us. I hope the change goes smoothly for all of us.
If I were going to hope one more thing, it would be that we would not have to fret over time so much. I wish that along with financial assistance, Good Neighbor could hand out time. More time to spend with your children. More time to spend with those you want to be with. More time to sit quietly and take some deep breaths. More time to do what allows you to feel and see the difference that you make to this world. More time for cooking good, simple food. More time for hugs and walks. More time for . . . you know what you’d do with more time.