Thoughts on the passing of time

Many of us care about age. Like, A LOT. There is an inherent fear that we’ve learned as we get older about the passing of time.

Doesn’t it mean more responsibilities, a “boring” life, and ultimately death? Sometimes it’s easier to not think of ageing at all and just pretend we’re always going to be able to drink heavily without a killer hangover the next day, or have a string of one night stands without the scary concept of commitment.

I’m sure you knew at least one person in your 20s (and maybe 30s) who refused to consider the future, and acted as if they were forever 18 years old.

The irony is that we also have a habit of willing time away. To get to payday, a holiday, or just the end of the day.

I too have been guilty of this. Counting down the days until Christmas, or staring at the clock in a boring office job, hoping that the minute hand will finally tick forward.

But why can’t we just, “be”?

Do we have to be afraid of growing up? And do we always have to be looking forward to something?

Technology has adapted to the point where we are now able to get instant rewards. We can press a few buttons on an app to get food delivered to our door in less than 30 minutes. We can stream porn videos from our phones, and even pick whether we’d prefer ‘big tits’ or ‘POV’ – which will undoubtedly be just another blow job featuring a hairy ball sack.

Forgive me for my examples, but our desire to have these immediate rewards is partly why we are so impatient with time.

You might be able to satisfy the temporary highs of getting junk food in a hurry, or find something to help you blow your load when you’re feeling bored, but there are some things in life that you do have to wait for.

Some of the best parts of life surely come when we aren’t even planning them, or ordering them on demand.

Blossom gently settling in your hair as you sit under a tree in the spring. Looking up at the night sky and spotting your favourite constellation. The bear hug you get from your favourite person when you’ve had a shitty day. Running through a pile of crisp autumn leaves.

I am an autumn baby at heart.

I’m making more of an effort to remember and value these micro moments, rather than constantly seeking the big “exciting” things, that we often put on a pedestal. The sad reality is that we set our expectations too high, so these bigger events and moments leave us feeling a bit shortchanged – but we forget about this quickly as we go to plan the next big thing.

There is an inevitability about life, that it ends in death. So it makes sense that we want to fill it with as many awesome experiences as we can whilst we’re walking with the living.

But maybe we don’t need to engineer as many moments as we think we do to be “happy” (whatever that actually means).

Learning to just “be” isn’t easy. It isn’t something many of us are used to. But by practising the concept, we may find more satisfaction with the simple things.

And no. I am not a boring bitch who is saying never book a holiday, or plan a big party. But by understanding that a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip isn’t the ultimate path to happiness, and respecting that there will be a mix of positive and negative experiences, thoughts and emotions associated with it, you can take it off its pedestal.

By making your expectations for the reward of an experience more realistic, you may find you can enjoy it more for what it actually is, and not feel crushing disappointment if it isn’t everything that you dreamed it would be.

There are many benefits that come with the passing of time, if we allow ourselves to move forward, whilst appreciating that the time we have here isn’t endless.

We might as well value our limited minutes and hours whilst we have the chance.

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Mental health blogger & speaker | MSc student mental health nurse
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