Have you ever heard or read this quote before?
‘Life is like a toilet roll
The nearer you get to the end
The quicker it runs out.’
I can’t remember where I first heard that quote, but it has stuck with me ever since.
Before I retired in 2012, my life was hectic, and time was often my enemy. With deadlines to meet and places to be, I was forever rushing around like somebody who was too busy to tell anybody how busy I was. I’ve always been a good timekeeper and will often arrive at appointments with lots of time to spare. However, for me, that can backfire because I then start questioning myself about the time I am wasting when just sitting in a waiting room or window shopping along the high-street. I don’t like the thought of ‘killing time’ because, usually, I don’t have enough of it to get everything done in a day.
When I think back to my early years, time seemed to go slowly. I can remember the school summer holidays and how those six weeks of freedom seemed to last forever. Long warm summer days that were filled with plenty to do and with plenty of time. I never complained about time then, because the thought of having to go back to school was a rather horrid one. Even the two-week Christmas school holiday seemed to last forever. Time was my best friend.
Then came my first job. Not so bad to start with. but as the years went by, I began to find myself fighting for time. The days would go quickly, and I was often told that it was a sign of being busy. On a Monday morning, I’d arrive at work dreading the full week ahead, but it would often pass me by like an intercity express train. Before I knew it, Friday afternoon would arrive, and the thought of all that free time over the weekend would put a big smile on my face.
When I retired, the thought of all that spare time on my hands was one of the benefits of retirement. I had no thoughts about what I would do with all my spare time or if I’d find myself bored and going out of mind with nothing to do. I looked back at the past 32 years of working full-time and wondered how on earth I managed to fit everything in. Where had I found the time to do what I had been doing, as well as finding all the time I had spent enjoying a full social life that often took me away on holiday or long weekend breaks? It’s a question to which I have never found the answer.
Fast forward six years, to 2018, and I often find myself asking “where does my time go?”. Unlike during my early years, days, weeks and months seem to fly by much more quickly. I find myself comparing my life to the toilet roll I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Now that I’m retired, how can that be when I have so much spare time on my hands? The mathematics doesn’t add up, does it?