Falling Back

"Ticking away, the moments that make up a dull day - You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way" - Pink Floyd

Tonight we fall back. We gain an hour - a gift from the great celestial spirit. Of course, that hour is taken away from us come springtime in this annual tennis match of time. But for now, we're up an hour. And in a world of two-something per gallon gasoline, three-something per gallon milk, rising mortgage rates, rising food prices, rising real estate taxes, rising college tuition, rising homeowner's insurance rates, rising electric costs, and meager raises in income barely keeping pace with inflation ... we'll take anything we can get. Even if it's just a lousy hour caught somewhere between 2am and 3am. So, what are you going to do with your hour?

"Time keeps flowing like a river (on and on) to the sea, to the sea, till it's gone forever, gone forever, gone forevermore." - Alan Parsons Project

An hour. What's it worth? For some people an hour is worth what they are able to earn during those 60 minutes. For others, it's an opportunity to do a little reading, or to visit with a friend, or to clean the gutters, or to make something out of papier-mache. For most of us, though, that hour is chalked up to the extra sleep account as a little credit under the category "Zzzzzz." Yet, when we wake up the next morning we're a bit confused by the strange sunlight pouring through our windows and how it doesn't quite match up with the hands on the clock. Though we've been through this a number of times before (in my case, 44 times before) something just feels amiss. It's an odd day ... the noontime sun seems to arrive before the hands on the clock reach their zenith. Afternoon plods along, the clock chasing the sun hour by hour. And then it all comes crashing down when the sun sets and there's still time to kill before dinner. Oh yeah, I remember this, you say -- the early twilights, the shortening days, the lengthening evenings.  So, what are you going to do with your hour?

"Precious time is slipping away" - Van Morrison 

This weekend always reminds me of how quickly time is unfurling. I look at my journal - which I've kept now for the past 15 years - and flip through the pages, reading about my plans and dreams. They are the plans and dreams of someone in his late 20's, then early 30's, then mid-30's, late 30's, early 40's, now mid-40's. Precious time is truly slipping away. Or as the Moody Blues put it: "22,000 days, 22,000 days, it's not a lot, it's all you got, 22,000 days." In those terms, I'm now at day 15, 900. Time to stop frittering and wasting my hours in an offhand way ... before springtime comes along and takes back that extra hour I've been given.

So, what am I gonna do with my hour?  I don't know ... but perhaps it's time to kick myself in the butt and get working on that novel that's been cluttering up my brain!

Jack Sheedy

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