Father Time Fly-by

Did you ever get awakened by your bladder in the “wee” hours of the morning? Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun. It happened to me this morning at 4:30, about an hour before I get up for work.  My sleep apnea allows me to always get right back to sleep, so that wasn’t the problem. It was the fact that I merely blinked and the alarm was going off. Seems that way sometimes doesn’t it? So, off to work I went. Friday! Only a voluntary OT, half day tomorrow. Whoop, whoop!

To the newcomers, my day job is microfilming material for preservation. It’s mostly newspapers, for historical purposes. Not that anyone goes to the library to use a microfiche reader to pore through old papers. So, anyway, I was working on a project that involves various titles from all over Missouri, mostly smaller, regional papers. The issues were from just the last couple years, so I remembered a lot of the news since it’s not that long ago. It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for our nation, and the world really, but I’m not going to talk about the specifics.

Instead, I just wanted to share the perspective it gave me. Like that hour that passed in a blink this morning, I went through events of the last couple years in a couple of hours. (Only scanning over headlines as I worked. That’s all you have time for.) It got me to thinking about how little time we’re here, relatively speaking.

World conflicts, brutal regimes, scientific discoveries, medical advancements and all the grand spiritual experiences along with the crushing emotional agony of humanity, countered by the ebb and flow of progress and reactions. Is that what it’s like for God? A day is but a thousand years, according to the Bible. Mountains push up and fall, oceans form and dry up, civilizations come and go with a raucous cry that, cosmically, goes as quick as “the wave” at a stadium. (Do people still do that?)

Some people affect the entire world, for better or worse. Most of us toil away in obscurity. But the people around you feel your presence in the world. The majority of the masses will continue their family line and be remembered that way.  Others are remembered for their accomplishments or for the many kindnesses they extended. That makes it all worthwhile. To connect to one another and the world around us allows us to prepare our souls for the journey beyond, whether you believe that’s heaven or hell, a higher spiritual plane, or something else.

I speak to myself more than anyone when I say, make good use of your time here. Fill your days with meaning and it won’t feel like the days have slipped by too fast and empty. That’s why I’ve finally started to write more, and to engage more with others. We can actually slow down time in a sense, by deeply experiencing each day, absorbing and reflecting on events. Don’t just push everything out of your head because you don’t have the time or the energy to think about it. Live it!

Whatever you’ve been putting off, pushing down inside, denying or shutting out, stop!

Look up an old friend, make time to read, visit an elderly neighbor or relative, get back into that hobby you used to love, and most of all, seek out humanity in the fragile, flawed, awesome travelers around you. And as always, we’re all in this together!


A weight in my pocket

Those of you old enough to remember the pre-cellphone days are probably like me, wishing you didn’t have such an important thing to worry about. You also knew the phone numbers of family members and close friends. But then, you didn’t have PIN’s, passwords and other stuff to fill your head up.

For some, there’s another aspect to the anxiety associated with that pesky (cherished) communication device. It cuts both ways. Either it gives you no rest, or it taunts you with its prolonged silence.

Those who have lots of friends and talk on them all the time, or much worse, use it for work or business, may get tired of it ringing or chiming or whatever infernal noise it makes, notifying you that someone Liked your comment on their repost of a Tweet about something you saw on (fill in the blank social media.) Of course, some extreme, incomprehensible extroverts thrive on this, and drive everyone around them crazy. If you’re one of them, this post is not about you. Go away.

Just kidding.  There’s a flip side though to the busy folks dealing with “social noise”. (Did I just coin a phrase? Well, if you share it I might.) Anyway, the other side is those who never get calls or Likes, or new invites to join others’ electronic circles of influence. And more importantly, don’t get invites to actual events either. It’s the popularity contest gone viral, and seemingly at all ages. I like to think I’ve come a long way since my very unpopular existence in school. I still have room to grow, but I’m happy with my level of progress. So, it’s not about me, you see….

But I think of these things because I’ve been there, in the real world, not electronically, but nowadays, the two are melded together, and perhaps makes the loneliness even more profound.

Say hi to a shy or quiet coworker this week. They just might turn out to be quite interesting.  They could also be a real jerk and they’re quiet because they’re stuck up, but that’s not likely. If that does turn out to be the case, don’t blame me. It must have been something you said.  😉

Go connect! We’re all in this together.