9/11/11 “Every Second Counts”

Good day,  team.

I opened the newspaper the other morning and read the following:

“What exists everywhere in the universe but occupies no space? What can be measured but not seen, heard, smelled, tasted nor held in our hands? What can be spent, saved, frittered away or killed but never destroyed?”

These riddles are on display at the National Watch & Clock Museum in Columbia, Pa., a fascinating place that showcases 12,000 clocks, watches, timepieces and timekeepers in 18,000 square feet of museum space. Truly, an horological wonder!

The New York Times article, “Where Every Second Counts” by Edward Rothstein, not only describes the museum but examines how measuring time has defined humanity. Time gives us a way to organize our lives within its boundaries. It makes planning and strategy possible. It allows us to form into groups and get things done. It increases our awareness of what remains constant and what changes. Since the beginning of time, humans have observed the patterns of nature (sunrises, sunsets, solstices), and these repetitions have given pattern to our experiences. Time has allowed us to see that each experience has a beginning and an end. Each measurement of time has a start and a finish.

Reading the article made me think of my own questions around this mystery we call time. Where does it go after it passes? What are we measuring when we tell time? How has the way we measure time fundamentally changed the way we live our lives? Why do I never seem to have enough of it?

I’m having a hard time, for example, realizing that it’s almost the middle of September in a year that has gone by at lightening speed. Today is the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and it’s hard for me to believe that a decade has passed. And as I get closer to my 60th birthday, I have very little understanding of what it means to be alive for 60 years.

Every week, my calendar — one of the major ways we organize time — dictates how I spend each day. I find myself thinking, “How can I save more time for myself or make more time to spend with the people I love?” And each week, I continue to go from one appointment to the next trying to get the most out of the time I have.

This weekend, I found myself sitting in a chair staring into space. It suddenly dawned on me that I had nothing I had to do, no place I had to be, no appointment that needed keeping and I could just sit there. The moments ticked by. The thought arose, “Am I wasting my time?” “I think not,” was the inner response. Perhaps in these moments, I am not allowing time to waste me.

This week, take a moment to be out of time. Let it go. Allow all the appointments and commitments and time-oriented things in your life to fall away. Just for a moment or two, allow time to pass without trying to control it.

As Golda Meir said, “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.”

Have a good week!


© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

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