Time really is the constant

I recommend letting it heal your wounds not pass you by.

Recently I received a letter advising me of a specialist appointment booked for a time in 2017 and a new Medicare card that expires in 2021. OK, so we’re now actually in the future.

Deny it all you like, but those proverbs about time are true. It does fly by without waiting for anyone (I guess that biological clock must also be ticking).

But all of that is reassuring, right? It’s comforting to know that no matter what happens in my life, where I am in the world or what disaster is dominating the news cycle, that same sun is rising again in no more than 24 hours. What else is that reliable? I feel like the answer is nothing because if the sun doesn’t come up in 24 hours it is surely the end of the world.

So, the lesson is, time is not a variable. Just like your high school calculus books told you, it’s the constant. And for me, I’ve decided to tick along with it, rather than let it pass me by.

Evolving, moving on, growing up and growing old, time is at the heart of it all and, trust me, if you’ve got some wounds to heal, it’ll do that too. Last year, I let time heal some emotional wounds. This year, we got physical.

You see, I’ve broken my leg. Suddenly I’m defining life and time in non-weight bearing and weight-bearing weeks. The only reassurance I have that this is actually going to get better is that time has healed me before (oh and the five screws that now hold my left tibia together).

Basically, I have learnt to welcome the passing of time and to embrace the process of moving along with it. I see opportunity in it and I encourage you to do the same.

Because in my time I’ve observed a few rigid people. The kind that dwell on the past, resist change and fear tomorrow. They just sit there wounded. It always surprises me. To keep our bodies fit, we’re taught to move and I think a healthy mind needs to do the same. The not-so-subtle subtext of conversations I have with my rigid friends is usually: “Move, damn it.”

Deal with your shit and let it move you on. Put a plan in place and let time get you to the goal. Plant a seed and time will help it grow. Pay a surgeon several thousand dollars to bolt your leg back together and time will help it heal. See, there’s nothing to fear here!

Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s denial. Sometimes it’s definitely laziness. But I think there is such an unfortunate irony when we have grand ideas — exciting seeds to plant — but find ourselves saying: “I just don’t have enough time.”

Here’s something to think about. There are 24 hours in a day. If you spend eight at work and eight sleeping, you still have eight hours for play. A whole third of the day to cultivate and create something just for yourself.

There are a lot of ways to “speed the boring things up so you can slow the enjoyable things down” (to quote … myself). This isn’t one of those “spend your time on what’s really important #authentic” speeches. Washing my clothes doesn’t have a profound impact on my well-being but I need clean clothes (TIP: set the delayed start timer before you go to bed, hang it out before work, feel smug AF when you get home). And we all know a seemingly super-person running a family, a career and an always classically cool side project — let those types be your inspiration. They’re mine.

FWIW, there is reportedly no way to speed up bone growth. Just something I learnt recently.

So, let’s make the most of the time we’ve got but let’s also use the passing of time to our emotional advantage. You can’t do this stuff passively. Put the practical infrastructure in place so that as time ticks by, you’re along for a very enjoyable ride that you wouldn’t want to slow down. Maybe you get this, maybe you don’t, but hopefully I’ve at least planted a seed.