How to Make Time Fly.
Turning Waiting Time into Time I Can't Wait For.
I’m looking up the track.
No train in sight.
The 11:03pm did not whoosh in at 11:03pm.
Who knows when it will arrive?
I’d like to settle into a train seat and be on my way home.
Sure, I know…
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun.
But, how about when you’re not?
There is a flip side to the “Time Flies” aphorism.
A Watched Pot Never Boils.
When I’m waiting, time seems never to pass. Or, to move so slowly, it’s excruciating
Perhaps, diverting my attention is the answer. Many people carry a book expressly for this purpose.
A book carries a hint of the solution I’m about to propose.
Yet if I read while I’m waiting, I’ll likely be distracted by the fact that time is passing with no prospect of the 11:03pm. And if it ever gets here, I can read more comfortably once I’m on the train.
Plus, I’m agitated. I’m not sure I want to sit down and open a book.
Why not give myself a constructive physical activity? Or, possibly, a task I’ve been meaning to attend to?
Not merely a physical or purposeful action, but one I’ve been meaning to accomplish.
Most importantly, one which shifts my relationship with time.
How do I manage that?
I pick an activity which…
***Builds myself in some desirable way.
***I don’t normally get to.
***Takes longer than the time I project I have (in this case, longer than I expect the train will take to arrive.)
To exemplify, I have tight Achilles tendons.
In order to lengthen them, my pediatrician long ago told me to walk on my heels; an awkward and uncomfortable activity to do in public.
Still, I can do a stretch I know.
I intend to accomplish it every day, yet seldom, if ever, do.
Putting my arms against a wall, or a post, extending one leg behind me and bending the other beneath me, is a boring, thankless task. I dislike doing it. I always put it off.
Yet, I can do it now.
On the train platform!
As I wait!!!
Doing an Achilles heel stretch meets all my criteria.
***Contributes to my wellbeing.
***Is an activity I intend to get to, yet seldom do.
***Takes an extended, but not too extended, amount of time.
I find a post, put my hands against it, and step back. I start my first stretch.
The stars peek down at me on the open platform.
Snippets of cell phone conversations from the sprinkling of adjacent passengers float into my ears.
The slight aching of my achilles tendon lets me know I’m getting somewhere.
I hope the train doesn’t come before I finish.
I like to do three passes of thirty seconds on each leg.
I’m now wishing the train doesn’t come.
That I’ll have enough time.
I’m hoping I can finish before the 11:03pm gets here.
Rather than being bored, and agitated, and resenting every passing second, I’m engaged in a productive activity I hope I’ll have time to complete.
Now, time is flying.
I understand you may not want, or need, to stretch your Achilles tendons.
Still, I am absolutely sure you have a great many activities you seldom get to but would love to cross off your list.
***Taking 7 consecutive full deep breaths.
***Doing preventive carpal tunnel exercises for your wrist.
***Sorting the pictures in your phone, or the files on your computer.
***Doing a favorite meditation.
***Looking for that pesky address you haven’t been able to find.
***Checking the definition of those vocabulary words you intend to look up.
***Making a list of the people you’ve been meaning to call, yet haven’t.
***Calling one of them.
Waiting time is found time.
Time I didn’t expect to have.
A mountain of constructive tasks awaits my attention.
By choosing one to do, suddenly, rather than being agitated as seconds tick by, I’m constructively engaged, valuing the time I have.
Either way it’s my time.
I may as well enjoy it.
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