View from the Comfy Chair: Time 2017!

Joel Vernier

I do enjoy being retired. True there is less money for discretionary spending than I had when I was working, but the tradeoff is that I have more discretionary time!

Time is a finite controlling factor in all of our lives! I often have thought how much more relaxing it must have been to live one’s life before the invention of time measurement. In ancient times there was of course daylight, dusk, night, dawn and back to day. Six thousand years ago, time was measured by the moon and developed lunar calendars.

I remember a young boy watching western movies and our Native American Indians, at least in the movies, when they were asked to set up a meeting, or a deadline for one to return, they expressed it by the nocturnal transition of the moons. An example: “You must return in three moons!” Meaning of course three months or three new moons. That may be just a made up Hollywood line, but it is an interesting way to look at the movement of time.

Many Ancient civilizations marked time with a sundial. My grandpa had a sundial in his garden; it did a good job of telling time and was very quiet! It did not work too well at night of course.

The changing of the seasons seems to be another more romantic way of measuring time – spring, summer, winter and fall. As a nomadic hunter or a farmer, these seasonal changes had many consequences. The hunter would hunt for different game as they came available in each season, and that may be the origination of the term “Deer Season or Turkey Season!” The farmer would also develop and understanding leading to a specific action in planting season, growing and harvest season.

It was Julius Caesar that forged the solar calendar and that was one-upped by Pope Gregory XIII who introduced the Gregorian calendar. Many people are aware of the Mayan Calendar that had everyone fearing the end of the world when their calendar ended a few years ago.

We have lived with pendulum clocks, water clocks, sand timers, chronometers that used celestial navigation to tell time. The most accurate time measurement is the “Atomic Clock” of course there is no need to worry when it goes off – it’s just time to get up!

When we are young, time does not matter, unless you’re getting ready to open presents on Christmas morning, or to go anywhere out of the house.

As we get older, time begins to be a controlling factor in our lives. We take courses on time management to be able to pack more work in our day, to increase our output and effectiveness. We read books on how to reduce stress while we are packing in more activities into every passing moment.

When we are older yet, we notice that time seems to go by faster and faster as we age. When we retire, we gain back much of our ability to live with less focus on time, but it seems we have less time to focus on. But yes even in retirement we need to schedule some appointments, social events, Doctor appointments, outings with our children and grand children, volunteer work and vacations but we can once again have some control over time.

I try to schedule time to watch television; time to take at least three naps a day and time to give thanks for the time I have already enjoyed on this earth. I also pray for more time to accomplish so many things I still want to accomplish in my life. As for right now? It’s time for me to take my nap in my “Comfy chair!”

Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – Joel

Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer”. joelmvernier@aol.com

 

© Joel M. Vernier October 16, 17

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