MUSINGS ON TIME – BY ELLIN CURLEY

Recently I’ve been more aware of the passage of time in several different ways. Since quarantine began, every morning when I look in the mirror and start brushing my teeth, I think, “I remember yesterday morning when I did the exact same thing. Here we go again, another day.”

I also think of the classic scenes in the movie “All That Jazz when the actor playing Bob Fosse looks in the mirror every morning, does “Jazz Hands” and says, “It’s showtime!” as he takes his morning dose of heavy drugs to get through the day.

These aren’t deep, philosophical moments for me, they are more like a passing recognition of the passage of time.

Oddly enough, my diet has also made me more aware of time. I just lost over ten pounds on the Jenny Craig Diet (which I highly recommend) and one of the features I like about the program is that you’re supposed to eat something roughly every three hours. That way you’re never starving and your metabolic rate stays at a steady level throughout the day. Because of this, I look at my watch frequently to mark off three-hour intervals with a snack or a meal.

When I’m busy and occupied, the time flies by and I often miss my three-hour mark. But when I’m restless or bored, the time crawls by and I end up counting down the minutes. I’ve always known that “time flies when you’re having fun”, but I never documented it so graphically and consistently.

Something else happened recently that made me think about the passage of time. I reconnected on Facebook with a former au pair from Germany, Heike, who lived with my family for two years between 1987 and 1989. She was 24-26, I was 38-40, my son was 7-9 and my daughter was 2-4 years old. Heike and I stayed in touch till around 1994 before losing touch completely.

Once we found each other again on Facebook, we immediately talked on the phone for an hour and a half, catching up on whole lifetimes. She’s now 56 and has grown kids. But we have so much in common and we still have such a strong connection, that it felt like almost no time had passed since we had been embedded in each other’s lives.

Some connections are deeper than others and can survive both time and distance. Heike and I are going to stay in touch through phone, text, and Zoom and we’ll meet up in person once people can travel again (she lives near Seattle, Washington). We’re both excited to be back in each other’s lives again, this time as co-equal friends, not employer and employee – although there was always an underlying friendship between us.

Our lives were at very different stages in the 1980s but now we both have adult children and long-term marriages. And several of my best friends today are her age, 14 years or more my junior. My parents were 26 years apart in age so age differences don’t mean much to me.

I’ve increased my awareness of hours, days, and decades in interesting ways. I think being in quarantine has warped many people’s perceptions of time. It’s a running joke that no one knows the date or the day of the week anymore; the days just blur together into an amorphous blob. Maybe that’s why I’m more sensitive to time – it’s just another side effect of the Coronavirus pandemic.



Categories: Friendship, Relationships, time

Tags: , , , , ,

10 replies

  1. It is a bit of a time warp Ellin. It’s difficult to know what day of the week it is.
    Leslie

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    • I’ve been retired for a while, so the days of the week lost their meaning for me years ago, except that weekends is when I can see my working friends. Usually it doesn’t matter whether it’s Tuesday or Wednesday anyway, but it was something that anchored you in time. Now we all seem to be free floating.

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      • It’s kind of nice to know when garbage day is and I also do grocery shopping on Wednesdays now. We see our grandson on alternate weeks so I have to be sure I have the right food on hand for him. Yup, I still need to know what day it is….

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  2. Like the frogs are fond of saying, “Isn’t time fun when you’re having flies?”

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  3. I more or less lost track of the days of the week during retirement. When no one works a regular schedule and the weekend is exactly the same as every other day … well … calendars help.

    We have a lot of online friends, many of which used to be hanging out friends, but they have moved into elder facilities, or warmer climates. And travel seems unlikely for the near future. Maybe if they really come up with a functional vaccine, that will change everything. Until they do, this is a disease I can’t afford to get.

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    • All our friends now are online friends – even the ones who live down the street or even next door. But I’m enjoying our Zoom visits with friends. No food prep or dressing up, no traveling, just sit down and chat. I could get used to this. Also, people are more available. I used to have to make dates way in advance to see people. Now everyone is home all the time!

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      • We have learned Zoom too. Let’s set up a time and at least see each other’s faces. I promise to wear makeup and brush my hair. Actually, I may not wear makeup much, but I never forget earrings, rings, and sometimes, like today, a matching choker. Good thing I have long hair. I don’t have to worry about haircuts! I bet yours has gotten pretty long by now too. A new look?

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