How many times do you hear people say 'Doesn't time fly'. We look in the mirror, what do we see. We look at our relations, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and, in the blink of an eye, we have become our own ancestors, so to speak. If that's not scary, I don't know what is.
1 Not my granddad, my great granddad! Taken probably over a 100 years ago at least.
2 Grumpy as a child. Over 65 years ago. Not bad looking for a 'war baby' although I say it myself!
3 Grumpy as of now. No comment!
Time is going, going, gone. And one way to prove it to yourself is, keep a diary; in itself a very mixed blessing! I kept one once, once only, in great detail and, twenty five years on, it makes for very sober, nay sombre reading. It poses so many questions. (This diary, written for the whole of 1985 was in fact a journal that looked back also to life before that year. Thus much of the content refers to life before and up to the age of forty six. Self indulgent, maybe but certainly food for thought.)
How many of us, you, dear reader included, for example, lead/led the life we choose/chose. How many of us do the jobs we do/did by choice. How many remember how we felt, what we felt twenty five or more years ago. Were you bored, excited, exhilarated years ago. Were you hopeful then; are you hopeless now. Have you changed; has life changed; has life changed you. So many questions, are there just as many answers. You tell me, please.
Diary September 1985.
'School life is often exasperating, almost always hard but seldom boring. Which is more than can be said for the life of an office clerk. I spent four years as a clerk employed by the British Celanese at Spondon, a textile and plastics factory owned by Courtaulds. One of eight thousand employees, I felt unimportant and uninvolved in the firms affairs.
Consequently my years in their service were frustrating and unenjoyable, punctuated by bouts of periodic 'daftness' designed to disguise the boredom of the place and the futility of the occupation. I held four posts in four years, which suggested one year was sufferable, two not so. The jobs themselves were mundane. Bought-ledger clerk, paying thousands of pounds out each month on a salary of less than ten pounds a week. Cost clerking, adding up lines of meaningless figures concerning tricel, dicel and other uninteresting products. Stores clerk, issuing chits enabling less bored employees to go about their equally uninspiring tasks. Four years of frustration, remembered chiefly for moments that broke the monotony. 'Games' of musical chairs, where we ran round the large office, changing chairs to imaginary music, to the chagrin of the older, staid, harder working clerks. Adding, forever adding meaningless figures provided on multicoloured sheets from all parts of the factory. Figures I never understood and on more than one occasion made up. Their unimportance could be gauged from the fact that nobody noticed or complained.
Talk of books, of sport, of the weather daily rituals to relieve the monotony. It all sounds so uninspired, repetitive and so it was. Sometimes I got in trouble, for instance, like the time I swore at the old gent who used to go to sleep, beer induced, on our shared desk in the stores most afternoons. And the day I caused a huge lorry to be loaded with the wrong yarn because I read 'dicel' for 'tricel'. Four years of frustration. How many people are similarly frustrated in their daily tasks; but for fourteen years, or even forty four?'
And suddenly you are nearer the end of life than the beginning. (I did consider calling this post 'In the Blink of an Eye.')
Not meant to be maudlin but so be it. Just four pieces on time that caught my eye.
'The bad news is, time flies. The good news is, you're the pilot.' Michael Althsuler
What a load of American, motivational speaker crap! A somewhat limited pilot with no real power or influence you dummy!
'Time only seems to matter when it's running out.' Peter Strup
A bit obvious, a bit better but still suspect. And who the heck's Peter Strup?
'I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.' William Shakespeare. Richard 11 Act five.
It takes the Master to spell it out.
And finally, to show I do appreciate at least some of the wisdom of our American cousins.
'Lost time is never found again.' Benjamin Franklin
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