Has it really been two weeks already since I returned from my travels to France? Yes, I guess it has. Why is it when I’m away from my regular life time has such a different essence? My husband and I left for Paris on October 10th and spent five nights there before flying down to Nice, France for five nights for a “vacation from our vacation”. Then we returned to Paris for four more nights. Those two weeks went both fast and slow. I know, how can that be?
I’m currently reading Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life by Marney K. Makridakis. As the book indicates, the concept of “time management” is relatively new in the history of human existence and possibly a more American concept than elsewhere on this planet. The joy of traveling for me is to also experience the culture of another place. Paris and Nice, as well as our side trips to Antibe and Eze gave me a peak into the French “management” of time. Somehow it feels like the more you slow down the more time there is.
My husband Eric and I took the trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary last month and as the gift to each other for our 5oth birthdays earlier this year. Talk about marking the movement of time. We had the opportunity to reconnect, reminisce and relax together. My goal is to attempt to find a way to readjust my attitude toward time. Less managing and scheduling and more flowing with it. The purpose of time as the Creating Time book states, is to organize our memories and make sense of our history. People used to be tied to family, rituals, worship, beauty, nature. Now they are tied down to schedules, computers, watches and gadgets. I am attempting to re-connect with the things that are timeless and tie me back to the present moment. As I vacationed I was always “in the moment”. No watches, no deadlines, no stress. Therefore, time took on a different slower quality.
Is it possible for me to alter my perception of time in my everyday life? I think so. When I feel rushed I find it helpful to remind myself that there is always enough time for everything (I sometimes chant it to myself). And sure enough, time seems to swell to provide what is needed to get what is necessary done.
Another method I’ve been trying to use and I did it a few times on our trip is to sketch whatever I’m looking at, wherever I am. The inspiration for this came from another book Bob Dylan: Drawn Blank. I happened to notice this in the window of a used book store a month ago and was looking for a little anniversary gift for my husband, the Dylan Junky. As Bob says in the book his high school art teacher said “just draw what you see”! Great advice. It really helps you stop and take notice of where you are. And time does stop as well when you are caught up in the detail of the moment. Here are a few sketches from my trip to France, in some cases I’ve included a photo of what I was looking at. See if you can guess which one is the Eiffel Tower!
So I hope you will try it. No judgments, just draw what you see. You may just find time standing still.