Wednesday, December 4, 2013

all i've got is time

some lessons need to be learned again and again to stick.  other lessons just stick.  put them into practice and they stay with you.

we talk about "making" time and managing time and losing time like we actually control time.  in reality we only control what we do with the time allotted to us.

most people rush through life.  work is to be endured and finished as soon as possible.  relationships are seldom given the time necessary to grow and flourish, or to wither and die naturally.  we try to reduce the alphabet to two letters, getting from A to Z without any of those other extraneous symbols in between.

it all reminds me of running a 5k.  the distance takes time to cover, from start to finish, but it is done soon.  most distance races are meant to be run as quickly as possible, and this one is no exception.  never does the 5k racer say "my, that was a beautiful course".  there is simply no time to take in the scenery.

on the other hand, an ultra marathon is another story.  to finish, for most entrants, the race is about management.  of time, nourishment, physicality, mentality.  you have a lot of time.  you have all sorts of time.  with all that time you have a lot of time to think.

there are pressing matters to be dealt with in the moment.  there are other matters that may be shelved for a bit, to be dealt with at a latter stage of the event.  some matters must be dealt with, whether in the moment or eventually.

other matters, though, simply fall away never to be considered again.  no worry, no bluster, no bluff.  they simply fall away.

that is one lesson that will stay with me, from my days as an ultramarathoner.  it is a lesson i employ every day.  if something is bothering me, a thought that takes hold of me like some rabid dog, i try to set it aside.  shelf it, so to speak.  if i stay present moment, focused on actual tasks, that rabid dog will succumb and die a nature, timely, death.  in most cases i am happy to let it slip away.

i do not face that dog everyday, but i am getting better at facing it down.

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