It’s about time

Janice Lindsay
Janice Lindsay

By Janice Lindsay, Contributing Writer

I suppose that most of us were happy to see the end of 2021 and hope that 2022 will be better for everyone.  

I agree, except to add that any year seems good to me if I’m around to see the end of it. Some year – not to be morbid – I won’t be, unless Mother Nature can be persuaded to make a remarkable exception in my case.

I once knew three elderly sisters who lived together and would tell me they had spent an afternoon doing something-or-other “to pass the time.” I felt like asking, “To pass the time until what?” What were they waiting for? How much time did they have left, that they were so content to allow their precious hours to slip by unadorned and unappreciated?

Time is an odd possession. We all have some, but we don’t know how much. Sometimes our incessant busy-ness deters us from considering how we would prefer to use our time. Or, like the sisters, we let hours slip by without giving them our full attention.

I sometimes think that the more expressions we have about a subject, the more important it is in our lives. And look at all the ways we describe how we grapple with the mystery of time. We spend time, waste time, gain time, lose time, buy time, and save time. We make time, take time, have time limits, take time off, stall for time, take time out, have time to spare, take our time, follow timetables, and spend quality time. Time flies. An event is well-timed. We wear a timepiece. We say we have too much time on our hands. We run out of time.

One of my favorite movie versions of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is the musical “Scrooge” with Albert Finney in the title role. The story is about using time. Scrooge, being elderly, maybe doesn’t have much time left on this planet. He has spent his adult life in a dark and narrow place, never looking beyond the confines of his finances. If asked, he would probably say “time is money” and that’s all it is. He has never fully participated in the life teeming around him. His time is passing, and he has not enjoyed or appreciated any of it. The spirits challenge all that.

The Ghost of Christmas Present, about to bid Scrooge farewell, says “There is never enough time to say or do all the things we would wish. The thing is to do as much as you can in the time you have… Time is short, and suddenly you’re not there anymore.”

That’s blunt enough to get Scrooge’s attention. Mine, too.

It’s customary in January to make New Year’s Resolutions, for those inclined to do so. I’m usually not. I do not find the depths of winter encouraging for self-improvement. I hunker down and wait for the newness, growth, and inspiration of spring.

But in pondering my 2022 calendar, I wonder how I will spend those precious days and hours. Will I make them matter to me or to anyone else? That’s the big question. Scrooge finally figured it out, but he had help from unearthly beings. You and I must work it out on our own.

In any case – I wish you a happy new year. Whatever transpires this year, I hope you can find some time to have a good time.





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