From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Speaking of the fourth dimension

            Time is a fascinating dimension of life. Time management, on the other hand, can be one of life’s greatest challenges. My family has recently completed a ten-month long project….namely the planning and hosting of a wedding for our daughter. Previously, I have written about the wedding in anticipation of the future. Having now completed this journey, I am happy, broke and filled with the wisdom of hindsight. Here’s a little of what I learned.

·        Time moves at different speeds. If you’ve ever stood in a long line waiting for your favorite carnival ride, then you know about the relativity of time from one moment to the next. While waiting on line, time moves slowly. Waiting can be frustrating or relaxing depending upon our attitude, the weather, and even the people around us.  When our turn finally arrives, we quickly realize that (1) time speeds up just when we want it to move in slow motion to savor the experience, (2) we want nothing to interfere with or interrupt our pleasure during this long awaited moment, and (3) all too soon, time will slip away and events will pass, leaving a void in our schedule. That’s a little of what it’s like to host a wedding.

·        People don’t like to be reminded about time. When working on big projects, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Friends and family who want to be supportive often ask questions like “When is your project due? Are you sure that you’ve left enough time for yourself? And how much time do you have left?” During our ten-month period of planning the wedding, I discovered just how annoying these questions can be. It became clear to me just how much I hate to be reminded about time… unless of course, I really need to be reminded of the time.

·        Don’t ask people if they feel “let down” while they’re still enjoying their ride. It is possible to be right on time but have poor timing. When someone is actively enjoying the fruits of their labor, it is not polite to distract them from enjoying their moments of pleasure just to insert your negativity. Control yourself; it’s too easy to spoil someone else’s good time.  

·        Resuming your normal life feels like changing time zones. When it’s finally time to come back down to earth, most of us need to check our watches, re-set our alarms, and stick close to our calendars in order to resynchronize our internal clocks. It is not easy to get back on track when we have had the opportunity to slow down or shift gears completely. No matter how much you love your usual work, it is hard to resume your “old life” after doing something new and extraordinary like an extended vacation or planning a wedding for ten months. I suggest holding on to every exhilarating thought and feeling from your carnival ride for as long as possible. You’ve earned this disorientation!

When it’s finally time for move forward again, invite yourself to do so with a renewed sense of creativity. Experiences change us and cause us to grow in unimagined ways. Allow the new and improved you to evolve and unfold gradually. Soon enough, it will be time for another adventure.

©Copyright, 2008, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.            

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