Have you ever sat near a clock that has an audible ‘tick tock’ and tuned into the sound of each second passing by, never to return again? Do you find the sound comforting as it not only signals a bygone moment, but also a bygone age when it was far less unusual for a person to sit and enjoy the quiet solitude that their life offered? Or do you realise with horror, just how quickly and easily time flows past you without any effort whilst you struggle to sink or swim in the scramble to reach your target island?
For my part, I only occasionally tune into the sound, it has become a ‘white noise’ amongst the ebb and flow of my day. But when I listened to it last night, the thought of what each ‘tick’ and ‘tock’ represented, filled me with a frustrated annoyance that opportunities were being chipped away by the slow mechanical beat of the clock. Which got me thinking about what time means to me and what it may mean to you, because of all the words in the English language, there can be very few that have had so many quotes and sayings created to express a different mood or sentiment you may be experiencing at any one time.
As children, we never have enough time to do all the fun things we want to do and we are always told to take our time during exams, but invariably run out of time to do the exam justice (or at least that is what we tell our parents!). The one we all dreaded to hear was “it’s time for bed” which was usually said just at the crucial part in a Dr Who or such like episode.
But as we approach adolescence and our eagerness sometimes overtakes our ability, we are told by our elders that we will achieve our aims all in good time, but all we are interested in is to make sure we have the time of our life!
However it is not long before those same elders are reminding us that time waits for no man (or woman) and that we must get on with achieving those goals and targets that seem so far away to us as to be irrelevant.
Then we find ourselves going through a period of time when the next generation starts to live on borrowed time and they eventually move on to the afterlife. We are told time is a great healer as we deal with the bereavement.
But adulthood dawns and we are told time is ticking and we must take that first great step into the real world where time is money and you are reminded that the time is ripe for new and fresh ideas.
There are some people who are born ahead of their time and they might become entrepreneurs or great philanthropists, whilst others are behind the times and may sadly be left on the shore watching helplessly as others head off to the horizon.
But for all there is a time bomb ticking, waiting to go off at any moment sometimes without warning, so it is perhaps never a good idea to bide one’s time lest it should go off earlier than expected.
So whether you’re a baby, child, adolescent, adult or an aged citizen, time will work with you and against you, will be your friend but sometimes enemy.
But one thing’s for sure and the Romans hit the nail on the head when they said tempus fugit because there’s one thing guaranteed, by the time you find yourself tuning into the ‘tick tock’ of the clock, time is flying at super sonic speed, so my advice is get your skates on!