Long days, short years


While we are alive, we dream. We all long of better days, days of happiness, of peace, of success. There is this long in the human heart for a better future, one day when we’ll enjoy the pleasures of having lived by our highest personal standard and fulfilled our mission. Or the day we’ve bought all there is for one to buy. Although not all of us makes the concrete plans to achieve the objects of our desires, all of us expect to find in our future the gems of those realizations.

More than often we don’t feel that our daily routing is contributing to the realization of our desired future. The small, trivial tasks, are not regarded as important enough to be remembered. Who wants to remember the dishes he/she have washed? Or the bills you have paid? Or that boring, low paying job most of us have? We see them as rocks blocking the path, obstacles to be removed. Things we’d rather not do if we had the choice.

Since we are born, we are all getting older. As you get to be experienced on the art of getting older, you start to realize that the perception of time depends on some factors, like or expectations, anxiety and enjoyment. Time is short when we are doing what we like and it stands still when we are doing what we wish were already done.

This is the paradox of time: it gets slower when we want it to get faster and faster when want it slower. Have you noticed that the way back is always short than the way to the vacation site? Our expectation of the good time on the destination makes us feel that the road is an adversary, an obstacle, an enemy to be defeated. And so, as our anxiety gets higher, our perception is that the time is slower. When we are enjoying our time with friends time flies without we noticing it.

The paradox is not on the time, though. The paradox is on our life.

When we look further back or further away, we look for the big accomplishments, big desires, big events. We look for things which would help define us for their importance and magnitude. We don’t look at the details, which we’ve most likely forgotten. As those events are rare, happening once in a while, we can’t count many of them. So the time seems short as much of it was spent without any correspondent progress.

The opposite happens on our days. Many of us, when arrive at our work, are longing for its finish. We don’t have pleasure nor any sense of realization doing the repetitive tasks which are part of almost all of our jobs. At this point we see too many things to do in a short span of time. And, therefore, the days are long.

We fight our living on the days and enjoy our life on the years. Wouldn’t it be wise if we learned how to make each day count, instead of only counting our years?

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