Even I don't always agree with my opinion


Time Is On My Side

Posted December 28, 2010 by jim young in Religion/Philosophy

– jim young

At the tender young ages of 20 to 28, in 1964 time may very well have seemed to be on the side of the Rolling Stones when they sang the Jerry Ragovy (aka Norman Meade) song “Time Is On My Side”.

Except for Brian Jones.

Time was decidedly NOT on his side, while Keith Richards has certainly got more than his share.

“’Spend your money however you please,’ my father used to say to me. ‘There’s an infinite amount of money.
And if you run out of money, you can always make more tomorrow.
But spend your time wisely.
Because once you run out of time, there is no more.
You might think you have enough time today, but god only knows if you will be out of time tomorrow.’”

The above quote was the opening line in a Science-Fiction story about time that I started to write many years ago.

When I suffered my first stroke in the year 2000, I collapsed on the dining room floor unable to steady myself while my world left its axis and started to spin wildly out of control. With my head feeling as if it was being crushed by a bulldozer, I ripped off my shirt in a futile attempt to cool the burning flames of hell that were ravaging my body.

At that moment, I remember thinking to myself “I need more time. I need more time to finish my stories”. Ironically, that still unfinished piece is one that raced through my mind as a seemingly important piece of work that needed tending to.

And although I was given more time, that story remains uncompleted on the shelf.

Regardless of how much time we may or may not have, what’s really interesting is our perception of time.

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’s relativity.” Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying.

To a 4 year old who is looking forward to next Christmas in January, the year that has to pass by represents 25% of his lifetime experience. And since he might not even remember the first 3 years – it might even seem more like a whole lifetime away.

To a 25 year old, that same year only represents .04% of his lifetime experience and so Christmas will arrive much sooner.

Relative to the 4 year old’s experience, Christmas wouldn’t come for at least another 6.25 years.

We don’t always measure time in terms of relativity to our lifetime experiences however.

As young parents our new-born children are first measured in days, weeks and months for the obvious reason that they have not yet passed the first anniversary of the day they were brought into this world.

But we often take it further by adding fractions.

Michael is 4 ½ weeks old. Angela is 3 ¼ months old, as if the ½ week or ¼ of the month is a significant measure of time.

By the time our children pass through their first decade, however, they are usually just 10, 11 12 or 13.
Or maybe they are in their “double digits”, “pre-teen” or a “teenager”.

And by the time we reach the other end of the spectrum, the measurement of age goes back to fractions.

My mother-in-law is not just 90, she is 90 ½.

Admittedly the fraction of the years is probably much more of an achievement at this end of the scale.

In between we have even more standards of measurements.

She’s 20 something.

He’s in his mid 30s.

She’s in her early 40s.

He’s in his late 50s.

And even these designations are sometimes broken down further. For example, in the personal ads, a lady in her early 30s will likely be anywhere from 35 to 39 while a man in his late 40s could be 50 to 54.

By the time we reach our late 50s, however, the designation of “late” is often more accurate.

For example, having just turned 58 yesterday I am well into my late 50s and will be so for the next 2 years and the next 2 years only.

After that time I will simply be in my 60s for the next 10 years or until time is no longer on my side.

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