They say that times goes faster the older you get.
And in this day in age, the weeks pass so quickly that, before we know it, months or even years have gone before we can catch our breath. In years gone by there seemed to be so much more time. For lazy walks on the beach, picnics in the garden, long afternoons spent in the sun having a braai, swimming and playing garden cricket until the sun went down.
Nowadays, years can go by without seeing family and friends, and kids grow up before we know it. And yet we spend our days wishing time away – looking forward to the weekend, the holidays, Christmas. And then it’s January again and the process is repeated until we’re suddenly faced with the fact that maybe it’s too late? Friendships have turned stale, kids have grown up and family members have aged or passed on.
Somehow, we need to learn to slow down. In the fast paced world we live in, this is something we need to focus on and manage consciously.
Social media is a blessing in so many ways, enabling us to keep in touch with family and friends far and wide. We can share our lives in photographs and ‘meet’ grandparents via a Skype call. It’s wonderful to feel a part of a life that in previous generations was impossible.
But, there is also an ugly side to social media.
We are so engrossed in other people’s lives – often boring, mundane daily rituals of people we barely know – that we are missing our own lives. Things are happening around us and time is slipping through our fingertips one Instagram ‘like’ at a time. We are too engrossed in what everyone else is doing and trying to live up to the same standards that we lose touch with reality and become dissatisfied with what we do have … and often what we do have is great!
So let’s make a conscious effort. Let’s turn off our phones/tablets/computers and soak in our own lives. Appreciate what we have and make the most of our time together. Let’s make more time to be present and create a life we want to live – without having to prove how special or amazing it is via Instagram worthy photos.
I think our elders have it right. It seems the closer we get to the end we suddenly realise how precious time really is and learn to make the most of it.
This idea is illustrated perfectly in this photograph. Instead of filming, taking photos and looking at the world through a lens, the lady at the front is actually enjoying the moment how it was meant to be enjoyed – in real time! Living in the moment and soaking life in. She’s teaching us a valuable lesson. Let’s learn from her.
Photo taken by Globe photographer John Blanding