Archive for October 12th, 2011

I recently read Jennifer Egan’s award-winning novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad. I found the concept of the novel to be fascinating. The main character of the novel is time (“time is a goon”), and the passage of time is viewed as cruel. Time robs us of what we once had and leaves us longing for the past.

So many people seem to be nostalgic for the past and look backward rather than forward. I see Facebook being used for this purpose a lot – reconnecting with people from your past. I have heard that numerous divorces mention Facebook as people reconnect with lovers from their past. About the last place I want to go is back.

I have a very different view of the passage of time. I don’t see time as a friend or an enemy. Instead, I see the passage of time as a current that keeps us moving. We cannot stay in the same place that we have always been. I don’t want to move backward – I want to move forward.

Yes, there are areas of my life where time has not been kind, such as my eyesight gradually getting worse (that’s what happens when you spend all day on a computer!). However, I wouldn’t trade my 40’s for my 30’s or 20’s for anything. That would put me back to pre-therapy and being a walking doormat. That would put me back to a place of second-guessing everything I say or do and constantly being flooded with shame.

I don’t think that these changes are due to time, though. I think they are due to my having used that time for growth. The current of time has kept pushing me to move, and I have chosen to move toward being a healthier me. I don’t believe that time is controlling my life or causing my life to get worse. Instead, I believe it is up to me to spend my time in a purposeful way.

The only time that any of us have is now. The past has already happened, and the future is still a mystery. The only sliver of time I have is right now, and it is up to me in this moment whether or not I am moving toward a healthier me.

Photo credit: Amazon.com

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