How to Make Time Fly.
Turning Waiting Time into Time You 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 with it 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 task? 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 do.
Most importantly, one which shifts my relationship with time.
How do I accomplish that?
I pick an activity which…
***Builds myself in some constructive 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 don’t.
***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.
Conversations from the sprinkling of fellow passengers chatting on their phones float into my ears.
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. I’m hoping I can finish my series before the 11:03pm gets here.
That I’ll have enough time.
Rather than being bored, and agitated, and noting every passing second of delay, 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 beneficial activities you seldom get to but mean 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.
The time I didn’t expect to have.
A mountain of constructive tasks awaits my tending to them.
By picking one and doing it, suddenly I hope I will have the time to complete it in the time I have to wait.
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