“Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator.” (Robert Orben)
The first time I heard the phrase “time flies”, I was a child of maybe 7 or 8 years old. At the time, I didn’t understand what it meant. It seemed to me that time took forever to go by. The school year seemed to last an eternity, the time from Christmas to Christmas may as well have been an eon. Even something as simple as the last 5 minutes of a school day seemed to take forever.
Every year time seems to go faster and faster. It seems I have barely caught my breath from the Holidays, and already Valentine’s Day is upon us. As long as this winter has seemed, the fact is that it will be spring, and then summer in the blink of an eye. I have a theory that the reason time seems to go faster as I get older has to do with the percentage of my lived experience that has passed. When I was 5, waiting for the next Christmas to come was 20% of my life to that point. Today, the next Christmas is less than 2% of my life away and shrinking. Combine that with how much busier the life of a fifty something is compared to a 5 year old, and time is going to seem like a supersonic jet.
What I find interesting in today’s quote is the concept of being the navigator of time. I want to be the pilot! I want to be in control of my time, steering the jet of my life over storm clouds and around mountains. I want to have the stick and rudder of my life within my control. But this quote reminds me that I am not in control, I am merely the navigator. I can influence the direction that time takes me through my life, but I am not in control. After all, if I were in control I could slow things down, and then the whole metaphor would be broken.
I have previously written about the notion of time management as a way to get more out of the time that I have. That is very important, I need to make sure that I am wringing out each day to its fullest. Today I am thinking more about the bigger picture. How do I want to alter the course of my life? Am I flying in a direction that I find fulfilling? And, if I am not, how do I influence the time pilot to take me on the path I want to be?