Life is zipping by me. I swear each year time goes a little faster. One minute, I’m meeting Ethan for tacos for our first date and now we are getting married in 40 days. It’s been a whirlwind lately, between planning a wedding, working full time plus extra side jobs, attending multiple pre-wedding events for other friend’s weddings, and planning an epic honeymoon. I feel like I’ve fallen asleep on the couch and I’m leaning on the fast forward button for several hours. How do I make it all slow down?
Unfortunately, I’ve learned as I get older that there is no pause button on time and it oftentimes goes faster the more you are looking ahead instead of looking where you’re at. Planning a wedding and a trip though makes it very challenging to not look ahead constantly. Your entire focus becomes the future. This makes it super challenging to enjoy the present.
I fill my day dreams and nights with fantasies of laying on beaches, drinking umbrella drinks, trekking through Patagonia and up Machu Picchu, and dancing the Tango or Salsa in a dark nightclub. My mind has no time for the present, when it is full of fantastical freedom abroad. How can I remain present, when I have so many great things on the horizon. All the while my mind is roaming free across the globe- eating steaks in Argentina, sipping pisco sours on the beaches of Peru, rubbing noses with sloths in Costa Rica. But alas, here I am.
I equally wish that time would slow down as much as I wish time would speed up. Does that make sense? I can’t wait to walk down the aisle and marry Ethan and not have to worry anymore about this wedding planning stuff. I also wish I had more time for the wedding planning, despite having a whole year that flew by. I wish I had more time to enjoy the small moments and the moments with my friends that I will soon leave for almost a year. I feel like a horse, tethered to the ground so I can’t move, but wearing blinders so that all I can see is my future and not the present.
Since time is actually an illusion, are we simply imagining the speed at which we are spinning around the sun? We technically move the same speed every year, yet some years feel like the Earth is going turbo speed racing around the sun to avoid its responsibilities and other years it feels like the Earth goes as slow as your dream self when you really need to get somewhere. I’m sure every human experiences time relative to their own life. If you are having a rough year, time seems to really drag and you just can’t wait for the new year, like a cycle around the sun will change everything for you. Other’s who are having a great year, feel this sense that they wish they could slow things down to really enjoy every great moment passing them by. I’m sort of in the middle this year though.
In many ways it has been and will be one of the best years of my life. On the other hand, it has been one of the toughest years of my life. As I said, I equally want to speed up time and slow it down. I have several amazing things going on in my life right now: I’m engaged, getting married in 40 days, finishing up my job of 2.5 years, going on an epic 9 month trip abroad, and I have amazing people in my life. At the same time: I have had two car accidents in the past year, incurred tons of debt, I am constantly poor, and all the stress of planning the fun stuff coming up has made me exhausted all the time. So, I’m trying my best to enjoy the good moments and accept that the hard times are going to pass and everything will be fine.
My biggest hope is that when those good times finally come, I can be present and just enjoy every second of them, because I know they will also fly by. I should probably try to enjoy work and the day to day moments now while I still have them as well. Once they are gone, I won’t get them back. Time also doesn’t rewind. Once the moment is over, it is gone forever. I know I write about this topic a lot and I even have a tattoo that says “Be Here Now,” but it is probably the toughest struggle of life. Those who are truly present in every moment, tend to be Yogis or Buddhist Monks or people living outside of society. How can we live within society and be able to practice the same teachings of being very present?
One thing that I have started doing that is helping, is meditating everyday. I vowed to myself that I would meditate for at least 5 minutes every morning. Instead of hitting the snooze button in the morning, I get up and just sit with my thoughts and the silence for 5-10 minutes. This helps me ready myself for the day ahead, be present with my thoughts and worries, and relax. I watched a video of many famous people talking about how meditation helps them get through each day. It is really life changing and helps time slow down. You can’t imagine how long 5 minutes feels until you meditate.
Although, I know time is just going to keep trucking along, I am going to try my hardest to just take time and enjoy the moments as they occur. Even when times are tough and you just want to speed up the process to get to the good stuff, it isn’t worth it. I believe that this year has been so tough, because I can’t just have my cake and eat it too. I can’t go on this amazing trip, if I don’t work hard to earn it. It is more rewarding in the end if we worked to get there, rather than just having it handed to us.
The best way to stay focused on the present is to make the present just as exciting. Our trip is definitely something out of this world to look forward to, but I can plan mini trips or day trips to keep my daily life exciting. Also, if you are wanting time to feel like it is going faster, staying busy is a for sure way to speed through time. I never have a second to stop and even think about time these days, that is why it is flying by. And for those wanting to slow it down, try meditating and taking little moments to just sit without any obligations and enjoy the breeze in your hair, the soil on your toes, and the birds chirping in the trees. This will at least make that moment feel like it could last an eternity.
Ultimately, the Earth is going to orbit the sun at the same speed every year, but it is up to us to monitor our own use of time. Use it wisely, because you never know how much of it you have left. Live like there’s no tomorrow, but be conscious of the moment and how important every breath we take really is. This is the only way to not reach the end with regrets of whiling away the time and not truly enjoying the minutes and moments spent in it. I hope that we can just truly savor every bite of this amazing adventure, because we don’t know when we will ever get to have one like it again.