"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Slice of Life: Do You Have the Time?

Time can be un-wielding, marching on with no regard for my wishes and desires, yet, at the same time, be fluid and shrink and expand according to my perspective. I state the obvious here, but I also state the focus of my current thinking.

I used to be someone who lived by the next great thing, I was always looking down the road, then I read Jon Kabat-Zinn's, Wherever You Go, There You Are.  This book helped me shift my perspective.  As I mentioned in last week's Slice, I try to be present in each day and see the amazing and astounding things around me. 
I am living with intention,
as this window display reminded me.
I still get caught up in this issue with time though, often thinking, "Where did that two hours go?" and wondering, "Was it frittered away or did I spend it meaningfully?"
This evening, I ate dinner and did the dishes, watched two crime dramas, connected on Facebook and Twitter, started putting words to this blog post, edited pictures and talked on the phone with family. This all took three hours.

Today, in three hours, I taught four kindergarten classes, read and answered work emails, edited an Animoto video on the AUP, cataloged a few books, and did some tech troubleshooting.
The three hours at night feels decadent and long. The three hours during the day goes by so quickly and each spare moment feels like it was snatched away from something else and used for something else.
In a thirty minute class, I can welcome my students, read my message, explain the activity, demonstrate the activity, give students a chance to explore/reflect, and finish with five-ish minutes of browsing and borrowing.
Five minutes in a 30 minute class is an eternity. We can: read a very short story; introduce or discuss an idea; or, browse and borrow. (In five minutes, I can even jolk (jog-walk) down the hall and help a teacher fix a tech problem.) Each second counts.

There is no questioning of how time was spent in school.  I have rarely asked myself, "Was the five minutes frittered away or did I spend those five minutes meaningfully?" 
How is it that time can be so fickle? These minutes just keep ticking away with no regard for my wants and needs, yet thankfully offers a shifting perspective on their value and measure.

Please note: this post is two days late. Apparently, time is also elusive this week. :)

This post is part of the Slice of Life Meme.
Every Tuesday, Ruth and Stacey, host Slice of Life at their blog, Two Writing TeachersIf you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. 
For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, go here.


  1. My afternoon has ticked away. It's funny how time used to go so slowly when I was a kid. Now it just passes me by!