Kind of a funny thing, that idea of time.
You can talk about life as being in the past and go around stirring up memories which might be pleasant or painful depending on what you find back there.
And you can talk about it being the future when great things are going to come, when life will be better than it is right now, or maybe when life will still be the same because the truth is nothing ever really changes in my life <sigh>
But the hardest time to talk about is right now.
And for people who are into literal or absolute kind of thinking it is virtually impossible to speak of right now. Because by the time you get the words “right now’ out of your mouth, it is already some other time. Still right now, but a different right now.
Some people don’t have that kind of difficulty, though, and will use the term ‘right now” to mean basically anything from an hour ago to an hour ahead. No problem, that is just the way it is.
But when we say, “It’s time”, that means something different than regular thinking about the past or the future, that phrase is always about right now and has a particular connotation. A particular kind of hidden agenda meaning that is implicit in those two small words.
It’s time really means,
It’s time for something to begin
It’s time to for something to end
Sometimes it’s both at once
This kind of talking about time really has to do with how we feel about something because the phrase itself is more concerned with time as duration rather than clock time. We make it sound like clock time, but the truth is, it’s about how long something is going to be or how long it has lasted.
So what makes us say, it’s time? What is it that clicks that little button in our minds that gets us to thinking that something is either ending or beginning? That lets us understand that right now, is a time for change.
Let's Take A Trip
Let’s pretend for a moment or two that we are going to take a trip to Disneyland. The original one in California, right in the middle of what used to be an orange grove.
There are a few stages to our trip. When we first put the idea out into the real physical world instead of keeping it locked up in our minds, we are gathering excitement. We think about all the Disney characters we have known and loved or maybe that we have know and hated and we kind of wonder to ourselves how it would be if we saw them in the park.
Being animations and all, of course, we won’t really see them there, but the idea that we could meet someone dressed as our favorite character is kind of exciting. We might think about going to Adventure land or the World of Tomorrow or maybe riding on that little boat through the “It’s A Small World, After All” ride.
When we are starting out to think about how cool it would be to take a trip to Disneyland, for sure it is going to be the things that we like about Disneyland that are going to be in the forefront of our thinking and we might even find ourselves saying something like, “It’s time to start thinking about going to Disneyland”. To ourselves, and maybe even to our envious friends and neighbors.
Lots Of Disney Things
You start thinking about all manner of things Disney. What kind of special snacks you can get there, maybe Mickey Mouse shaped lollipops or milkshakes with a straw shaped like Dumbo’s trunk. Or maybe you like to collect souvenirs like an autograph from each of the Disney princesses or a fake tattoo of all the 7 dwarves' names on your arm.
Could be lots of things to think about that make you feel warm and happy instead and build up anticipation for your visit to the magic Kingdom.
Then its time to do the actual preparation. Find out how to get tickets, how much they cost, deciding how you are going to travel to Anaheim, by car or plane or maybe even in one of those gigantic tour buses you see out on the highway all the time. And then you have to decide if you are going to stay overnight or for a couple of days or maybe even a week and get the super pass to both Disneyland and California Adventure.
All those decisions while they might take some planning and deciding are kind of fun and bring you an excited sort of peace to your heart.
Then comes the big day. You pack everybody into the car or onto the bus or the plane and you travel. Now travel has its ups and downs and each mode of journeying has its own particular quirks, but all in all the excitement keeps building and building the closer you get to Mickey’s Place.
And then you are there. And it's time for fun. Piling out of the car, the bus or the taxi, watching the streams of people heading for the ticket booths. Searching through your pockets for the tickets vouchers you purchased online and making your way into the heart and soul of the Magic Kingdom itself.
The plaza, the flowers, the excitement, all the characters greeting you when you walk through the turnstiles. The smell of popcorn and hotdogs, kind of like a County Fair but not so strong. The surging stream of happy voices from the crowd carrying you along while you look through the show schedule brochure to find out when the best time is to see the parade on Main Street.
So many things to do, so many adventures to be ventured on. So much happiness and excitement. So much life to be lived right now. And its time for this adventure to be in full swing. And it seems like the fun is going to be never-ending.
But in fact, happily ever after, is just one of those things they say in stories. In truth, while everything does go along perfectly, there is room in the day for happiness and a bit of sadness sometimes.
Hey, it’s time to think about heading for home.
There comes a time in every adventure when it is time for the adventure part to be done and time for the going home part to begin. If you are a parent, you can recognize the signs. The kids get a bit whiny, you realize that your feet hurt, the friendly characters moving the rough the throngs don’t seem quiet so friendly anymore.
It's time to go and that is all there is to it.
So you collect up the souvenirs, stop by the bathrooms, take one last ride on the teacups and make your way slowly but surely back down main Street, where no barbershop quartets are singing anymore and back through the exit gates and find yourself out in the parking lot trudging toward your car or waiting for the shuttle to pick you up.
Feet hurting, a bit sunburnt, thirsty and maybe even a bit hungry for something that is not Disney snack food. Your feelings a bit on the low side, you had a good time but you are to tired and foot sore to process that information just now.
All you really know is that it’s timeto go home. So home you go.
You ride in the car, take the taxi, ride on the bus, fly on the plane and you are suddenly back at the home you left, and it seems at once like you have been gone forever and not hardly any time at all, simultaneously.
And it doesn’t feel quite so exciting and new and wonderful anymore. Just kind of tiring and saddening to think about doing anything except getting out of the car and dragging yourself into the house and falling into bed. You might even think about skipping tooth brushing for the night.
But the next couple of days, after a bit of rest, you find yourself talking about your trip to Disneyland. You tell people the story about how you got your picture taken with Snow White and how you almost got scared by the fake alligators on the boat ride in Adventure land. And you talk about those things like you really liked them. Like those things brought happiness to your life.
A happiness you accept and love and feel great about.
And you know what happens next, of course. You forget about the hours of car travel, or how the fight attendant gave your bag of snacks to another person or how much your feet hurt when you were going back to your car. Those thoughts start to dim, fade away, almost as if they never existed and pretty soon, you are telling anyone who will listen how you almost sang along with the barbershop quartet on Main Street and how much you love paying 8 dollars for a hot dog because it was in Disneyland, after all.
And then you finally get to that place, where you start thinking to yourself, that was a great trip to Disneyland and all, but . . .
Its time to start thinking about going to Six Flags.