How Not To Kill Time

I can’t remember when it was I heard this quote, but it’s stuck with me and will remain with me until my ‘best-by’ date expires.

‘Life is like a toilet roll
The nearer you get to the end
The quicker it runs out.’

Unknown

Before I retired in 2012, my life was hectic, and time was often my enemy. With deadlines to meet and places to be, I was forever rushing around like somebody who was too busy to tell anybody how busy I was.

I’ve always been a good timekeeper and will often arrive at appointments with lots of time to spare. However, that can backfire on me as I start questioning myself about the time I am wasting when just sitting in a waiting room, or killing time when window shopping in the high street.

I don’t like the idea of murdering time. How will Father Time deal with those who waste what he creates when their time comes to meet him? 

Father Time – The creator and keeper of time. Somebody all humans encounter as they travel through his world. 

Likewise, I don’t like the thought of me killing time because I don’t usually have enough of it to get everything done in my day. How often do I read or hear somebody say, ‘I don’t have enough time’, or ‘I wish I had more time?’ 

When I think back to my childhood, time seemed to go slowly. I remember the school summer holidays and how those six weeks of freedom seemed to last forever. 

Long, warm summer days were filled with plenty to do and plenty of time. I never complained about time then because the thought of having to go back to school was a rather horrid one. 

Even the two-week Christmas school holidays seemed to last forever when the nights are at their longest. Back then, time was my best friend. 

Then, I got my first job. Not so bad to start with, but as the years went by, I began to find myself fighting for time. If only I had saved up some of the spare time from my childhood days. I could have done so much with it.

The days would go quickly, and I often heard it said it was a sign of being busy. I’d arrive at work dreading the full week ahead on a Monday morning, but it would often pass me by like an intercity express train. 

Before I knew it, Friday afternoon would arrive, and the thought of all that free time over the weekend would put a big smile on my face.

Even better when the weekend was extended because of a public holiday. ‘Three days to roam free‘ was something else I remember being said to me by a work colleague. It’s yet another quote I’ve never forgotten.

Time is like money. Those who spend it wisely, will never lose it.   

Hugh W. Roberts

Yet, as the office clock struck five, and a long weekend was upon us, why did I often resist going home and getting the long weekend started?

Was it because the long weekend would last even longer by delaying its start? Or was it because I wanted to enjoy that feeling of ‘three days to roam free,’ even longer? Time doesn’t stop for anybody, so why was I kidding myself?   

When I retired, the thought of all that spare time on my hands was one of the benefits of retirement. I had no idea what I would do with all my spare time. However, what I did know was that I would not allow myself to get bored or become addicted to daytime television. 

I’m proud to say that I’ve never been bored or addicted to daytime television. What probably helps is living so close to the coast. Even in the winter, there are always lots of walks and much to do.

#photography #SundayStills #beach

I look back at my 32 years of working full-time and often wonder how on earth I managed to fit everything in. Where did I find the time to do what I had been doing and find all the time I had spent enjoying a social life that often took me away on holiday or on long weekend breaks? It’s something I never found out the answers to.

Fast forward to the present, and I often ask, ‘where does the time go?’ 

Unlike during the early years of my current life, the days, weeks, and months seem to zoom past even more quickly. I often compare my life to the toilet roll I mentioned at the beginning of this post. 

Now that I’m travelling through the autumn of my life, how can that be when I have so much spare time on my hands? 

I was never good at mathematics. And when it comes to time, the maths still doesn’t add up, does it?


This was a guest post originally published on Retirement Reflections, a blog by Donna Connolly. The post has been updated since its first publication on 8th April 2018.

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