The Speed of Life: Trapped in a Time Machine

We are time traveling every moment of our lives.

Greek-American comedian Demetri Martin explains in his Comedy Central special “Person”, that he invented a time machine.  The problem is, it travels at the normal rate that time passes, so basically it’s just a cardboard box with “time machine” written on it with a permanent marker. 

So much of childhood is waiting for it to be time for something: trapped waiting for your parents to get off of work to pick you up from daycare or waiting for school to be over so you can go home or waiting to be old enough to do something your current age prevents you from doing.

And obviously, waiting is always a part of life.  Adulthood is no exception- waiting to graduate college, waiting to find the right person to marry, waiting for a good job, waiting for a promotion, waiting for enough money to get out of debt, waiting to pay off the house, waiting to retire.

And all this talk of all this waiting makes me think of one of my favorite songs from the famous Country band from my hometown, “I’m in a Hurry” by Alabama: “I’m in a hurry to get things done, though I try and try until life’s no fun.  All I really gotta do is live and die but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.”  Ultimately, when we by default view each stage of life as just another one to be waited out, we miss quality moments and surprisingly meaningful stuff in between all the waiting: Like being trapped in a time machine that travels at the normal rate of time passing.

For a similar post by the same author, read Taking the Time to Stop and Smell the Play-Doh.

Dr. Deja Vu: Time Flies (A Deliberate Play on Words)

Flies. Only Mr. Miyagi and Daniel-son have been able to catch them in their hands. As for me, I’ve never been so fortunate. I used to think the fly was just smarter than I was. When really, it has more to do with time travel. The lighter a living being is, the quicker it is able to move and react, and the less gravity has an effect on it. (That explains why an ant can fall from any distance in the air and land safely every time.) Therefore, a fly can process action much quicker than a human can. Technically, time goes by much quicker for a fly.

When I swat my hand at a fly that is two feet away from my face, it would be like me seeing a skyscraper from half a mile away moving towards me at 10 miles per hour while I was driving a Lamborghini. In other words, I could very easily get out of the way in time.

I am intrigued by things like flies that can move so fast that I can’t see trace of their movement. Another example is the human eye. When I focus on the pupil of another person as they are talking, it shifts and moves so quickly that I can’t actually see the movement. I just see the effect of the movement: the new location of the pupil.

If I wave my hand as fast as I can in front of my face, I can still see the “trail” of it moving. Not so with the human eye. Or the movement of a fly.

This is also the case with many small birds. Though it does reveal a premature drive-a-Winnebago-cross-country aspect about me, I love to watch birds. The fact that they don’t walk- they just hop, without a trace of movement. The fact that they can eat a bug so fast that I can’t even seem them do it.

These thoughts and ideas will surely lead to the development and invention of time travel. Society will thank me someday in the future. Or is it really in the future? Maybe it was a long time ago when I helped invented time travel. It’s hard to know anymore…

Constant Time Travel: Is There Such a Thing as “Right Now?”

When waking up from a dream I don’t want to be in, there is that pivotal moment right before my eyes open that I realize how wonderful life is.  Because I return to the comfort of reality.  Not trapped in an eerie sub-world with a grey and pink cloudy sky.

Similarly, I sometimes forget how old I am.  I often hesitate when people ask.  In the milliseconds before I answer, my mind travels through different ages I could be.  The most common:

“Am I seventy-five years old, with most of my life behind me?  Is my body aged and limited by decades of wear and tear?  Have I truly lived my life?  Have I been the giver I need to be?  Or have I lived my life selfishly?”

A millisecond later, the wheel has spun, and the arrow points to “28”.  I say out loud, “I am 28”.  Over a third of my life is finished, but that still leaves two thirds.

Like waking up from a dream, I realize I am still young, and I’m so grateful.  The problem is, despite hearing “hold on to your youth” and “enjoy this while you can” from older adults, especially starting once I graduated high school, I can’t do it.

I can’t appreciate “the now” anymore than I already am and have been.  In fact, I try to hold on to the present too strongly.  And then it becomes the recent past.  So then I’m holding on to the past and the present at the same time.  Almost to a fault.  It’s always been a part of who I am and how I think.

My senior year in high school for our “class prophecy” read aloud at Class Night, the day before graduation, my peers predicted that in 10 years I would still be living in Fort Payne, wishing I was in 1983.

I am a person known for my desire to want to freeze time.  Or ideally travel back to my younger years.  All my classmates were aware that even as a freshly turned 18 year-old, I romanticized about the 1980’s more than is humanly normal.

I feel time is going by too quickly and I’m not even 30 yet.  Like the forced moving screen on certain Super Mario levels, all I can do is keep moving forward.  And like love and money, there will never be enough time.