1 EAGLETON NOTES: Five Minutes

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Sunday, 30 September 2018

Five Minutes

Everyone, except the young (which is, I admit, quite a lot of the world's population) knows that as one gets older time speeds up. For all sorts of reasons this has been in my mind a lot recently. 

It's not that long ago that I was celebrating my fiftieth birthday in this house with a partner (no, YP, not a wife) with a settled and potentially 'boring' lifestyle ahead. It all felt pretty good to me. 

Even in my wildest dreams I could not have imagined how my life would alter. 

Next year I shall be 75 (DV, NP).

I was stirring a paella recently. "Stir constantly until the water has been absorbed." I think that's what one is supposed to do. So, to keep myself from total mental shutdown, I decided to think about time.

How long is five minutes?

If you are running to get to the airport gate and you are six minutes away, five minutes go so fast you wouldn't believe it.

If you are running out of time in an exam five minutes is no time at all.

If you are waiting for an egg to boil then it's five minutes.

If you are stirring a paella it's long enough to get bored.

If you are waiting for the train or a bus in a downpour with no shelter it seems like an interminable age.

Of course all that translates, the necessary changes being made, to 5 weeks, months, years, decades and so on.

I'll leave you with the 'modern'* version of 'Time's Paces'
When I was a babe and wept and slept,
Time crept;
When I was a boy and laughed and talked,
Time walked.
Then when the years saw me a man,
Time ran.
But as I older grew,
Time flew.
Soon, as I journey on,
I'll find time gone.
May Christ have saved my soul, by then
Amen

* Guy Pentreath (1902–1985)

40 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing the lines by Guy Pentreath. As we grow older it's as if we are on a walking machine. In childhood its movement is so slow that it is hardly perceptible but after retirement it is as if the conveyor belt is moving in overdrive. Things that we thought had happened a month ago happened a year ago and things that we thought had happened a year ago actually occurred ten years back. We are all careering to...The End.

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    1. Yes, YP, trying to recall when things happened in the timescale of our life certainly becomes more difficult as we get older. I think it may be because a year at the age 10 is only a small part of our remembered life. At 70 it's a tiny proportion.

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  2. Great post Geeb. It's good to think about this. I have found some (occasional) antidotes to the 'going too fast' part of a lifespan. (which, personally I WOULD like to slow down a bit sometimes!). 1. Be 100% Here Now. 2. Stop multi-tasking. 3. Watch a beetle. 4. Just stand (or sit) and look at more (still) things for longer. 5. Make more Paellas. 6. Stand in the rain more often.

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    1. When you visited, Kate, my Notice Board wasn't there. Some of those sayings used to be on it. They still are - up in the loft. I always had difficulty, with 'Live every day as if it were your last'. I'd never have got anything done in the house. However living for the Now is very important to me. I never waste time sweating the Small Stuff which is part of that ethos. I'm a man. I don't have to worry about multi-tasking. Having said that I'm not sure why it makes time go faster. I have no problem watching beetles. As fo your fourth point see my post Dolce far Niente. I shall make more paellas. On the aforementioned notice board there were various "Happiness is....." contributed by me and by friends. One of mine was 'standing naked in the warm rain'. You may be amused to know that one summer night a friend and I went skinny-dipping in the warm rain (warm compared with the water!) in the bay below the house.

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    2. Well, you seem to have ticked them all.
      Except, well, actually being Here Now, *does* mean, not so much sweating, as ENJOYING the 'small stuff'. Well, I think it does, anyway. Oooh, I can feel a book coming - 'DO Sweat the Small Stuff' by Kate S, insect painter.
      There's nothing quite as delicious as warm water against the skin. You were game to do it on L&H!

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  3. Interesting comments on our perception of time.

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  4. Not too soon that last bit, please.

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  5. To slow time down I find I have to do something new. Even then I can't fit as much into five minutes as I once could.

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    1. Adrian, I find that minutes only have 45 seconds in them these days.

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  6. 5 minutes always seems to go quite easily for me, I don't how but it goes. I've never made Paella but it sounds alot like Risotto.

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    1. Amy I love both but don't make either very often. I'm not sure why.

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  7. You nailed all of that!

    How was the paella?

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    1. Kylie, the paella was certainly well received by my dinner guests. It's the combination of lots of seafood and the addition of plenty of chorizo with the chicken.

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  8. Risottos are usually stirred constantly; Paellas are left alone.

    The only reason why, personally, I find that 'time flies', is that I'm always so busy.

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    1. Like you, Cro, I am invariably busy. I leave my paellas with the lid on until the water is boiling and then stir until most of the moisture has been absorbed. I've not read what I should be doing for many years. I'd better have a refresher course.

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  9. I find a working week passes very quickly, and that is good - I really like my work, but I love OK, and since we can only spend weekends together, they can not arrive too soon for me. Trouble is, they also pass very quickly!

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    1. Ah yes, Meike, the conflict of the various elements in our life. Some say it's wishing our lives away but it's hard if one does not have something to which to look forward.

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  10. So true, time passes so quickly as we age. But we must learn to cope and living in the present is a good way but nostalgia is good for the memory.

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    1. I could not agree more, Diane, and you seem to have learned to cope very well indeed.

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  11. 'Time and time again' oh how that phrase has echoed in my mind that now I dread to hear it !

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    1. Ah yes, Heron, but what would we be without 'Time'.

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  12. So very true! Time certainly is flying by. It is said that "time flies when you're having fun!" I must be having a hell of a lot of fun and not know that I am!! :)

    Next year I will be turning 75, too; but I have to turn 74 first...and that is not that long away...in November coming up!

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    1. Well, Lee, I have to say that, on the whole, I'm fortunate enough to be having what I consider to be fun. It's a very subjective concept though.

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  13. I see the reasoning, Graham.
    I also see as I age, waiting in doctor's offices, and in this country, waiting for the Democrats to stop complaining makes time feel slowed way down.

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    1. Maywyn, I don't have a problem with doctor's offices I'm glad to say.

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  14. I don't think about time anymore. I try to pack each day full with what I wish to do, no matter how badly I do it. I don't have to do much anymore for others, although I do for others a lot, but it is what I want to do and when I want to do it! And, there are always those hours each day when I am forced to rest but even in those times, I am reading a book or, hey, get this......just thinking wonderful thoughts!

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    1. It sounds to me, Mrs Thyme, as if you have the whole thing sussed very well.

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  15. My grandchildren have started commenting on the rapid passage of time, and that’s seriously thought-provoking!

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    1. Well, Frances, it's likely to be a long time before my grandchild starts commenting thus so I shall just have to share your feelings too.

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  16. Ever since my health-related early retirement from work (14-15 years ago), people still often keep asking me "what I do to pass the time". I still never know how to answer that, as my own question is usually more about how to fit into time what I need and want to do. That said, "just waiting" is probably the most efficient way to slow down time, though... Either waiting for something unpleasant to end, or having to wait for one thing before I can do another. (Your example about waiting for the bus in the rain ticks both of those!)

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    1. Yes, Monica, you keep active in many ways and, in so many ways we are a fortunate generation (okay I know I'm of a rather older generation) in that we do not have to sit at home with no interest and no communication with the outside world. Blogging has brought me a great deal of physical human contact and friendship as well as friendships outside blogging but at a distance (like the friendship we have). And long may it continue.

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  17. That's an interesting post. I have started to wonder about why time seems to run at different speeds at different periods of one's life. I think I might have got some kind of a clue when I needed to read some old diaries of mine. They were absolutely packed with things I had done which I had quite forgotten, and, in some cases, that I could not remember even after reading the diary entry. I also found a few entries in which I mused about things that were becoming hard to remember, but which I knew really well.... and by now I had entirely forgotten all of them. I think our brains get so full of experiences that we remember less and less, simply because it would send us mad trying to keep track of it all. And we get into the habit of discounting what is happening to us now because we're simply running out of space. So of course time seems to pass quickly, if we ignore most of what is happening. Well, that's my theory anyhow. I look forward to it being debunked by the scientists, of course!

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    1. Jenny, I was thinking about what you said on my way South today. I think it makes a lot of sense. After all the amount of knowledge both important and trivial that we gather in our brains over a lifetime has to be well beyond the capability of most computers which, in turn, need ever larger and larger memories to cope.

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  18. And that's thew thing, we never imagine how our lives will change and end up. I had quite different ideas 5 years ago.

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    1. You're absolutely right, Amy, I wonder how we would react if we did know?

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