A new year, a new month, a new word… (and at least one of these things is a very good thing!)

This month I spent my some of my time “unpacking time” a bit. I found that I had quite a few “boxes” to look through as this word began showing up for me last April! I am thankful to my previous self for setting aside so many of the pieces of time that crossed my path last year. I am finding them just as timely now as I did then… and I am ending the month having a new love for what one little word can do for me.

I started where I always start with a word… I turn to the dictionary and begin with the definitions of time. I have written down those definitions… Time as a noun and Time as a verb.

  • Time, noun: The indefinite continued process of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. (i.e.  my life)
  • Time, verb: plan, schedule, or arrange when (something) should happen or be done. (i.e. the time of my day)

And with those thoughts in mind, I focused on Jenny Odell’s delightful question:

“What other kinds of time? “

I started with Jenny’s thoughts on Chrónos (quantitative time) and Kairos (deep time). I went back and listened to Jenny’s conversation here about her book, Saving Time. I dug deeper into the idea of Chrónos [time, duration (taken from Merriam Webster)] and Kairos [Fullness of time; the propitious moment, especially for decision or action. (taken from the Oxford Dictionary)]. And Googling Chrónos and Kairos provided the most delightful rabbit hole… I spent a good bit of time wading around there!

I surprisingly stumbled across another delightful Time Rabbit Hole when I listened to a conversation with Paul Salopek. He introduced me to the idea of geological time… time in which we walk in the paths of ancestors. I loved, loved, loved this idea! And it made me think of all the things I do today… that have been done by thousands of people before me. I came up with quite a list… reading, knitting, sewing, cooking, cleaning… I mean… all of my day is spent doing things that others have done. This made me look at some of those things on my list in a new way. I can spend less time doing laundry than ancestors did… I have the benefit of having an automatic washer and dryer. Yes, I have to fill them… but  then I can walk away and do something else with my time. I am not spending my time beating clothes on a rock at a river… just saying.

Paul Salopek also talked about time connections… i.e. He noted that time connected to nature “slows down” versus time connected to cities, urban areas, and technology “sped up.” Jenny Odell talks about this as well but in terms “linear” and “vertical” time. Linear time being tied to work… and vertical time are those moments when time seems to stand still… which she noted most profoundly when she was out in nature!

In my Contemplation of Time this year… I want to reconsider the time of my day… or as Tolkien said:

All we I have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us me. 

I know one thing for sure… the amount of time I have left is decreasing daily and so I want to spend my time in better ways. I want to find more things that bring “vertical” time… those moments where I don’t feel the drag of time, but rather am lost from time.

And there you have my timely beginning… I am so excited to spend a year focused on time!

As always, I want to thank Carolyn for gathering us all together as we dig deep into our words! It is a delightful community of “worders” and I always learn something from all the participants!


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