The passing of time is hard

The passing of time is hard
La persistència de la memòria by Salvador Dalí (1931)
He has put eternity into man’s heart... ~part of Ecclesiastes 3:11

I've never related with time well. I feel every second like Velcro, even now as it feels like it's all going way, way too fast - just like the adults around me as a kid commented on all the time. "Can you believe it's Christmas time again?" "How is it already summer break?" "My, how time flies!" I didn't understand any of this as a kid, and I realize now that I'm experience time as a steamroller flattening out, among other things, the hope I have of a long marriage and long-lasting friendships as well as meaningful career (so, just the main things in life that bring fulfillment, NBD), the reason I didn't understand these comments is not just that kids don't think like adults. It's also because I was waiting for my life to start "for real" indefinitely.

You're probably familiar with the formula that I was unconsciously living my life by for over 35 years: "When X happens, I'll be happy" or "When Y happens, I'll take Z action I've been thinking about for years." Sometimes, we may indeed need to wait to take action on something. Sometimes, we're going through a difficult time in life and when the injury clears up or the broken heart mends or we find a group of friends who we can really be ourselves around, we'll be able to be happy—or happier than we had been while sick, hurt, or lonely. But while we're waiting for X or Y to happen, time doesn't stop.

This is obvious, yet I didn't know it. Not in any way that matters for real life. I lived like I had all the time in the world still, and that it was passing slowly and would pass slowly forever. The other word for this is procrastination. I'm now saying things the adults around me said when I was a kid: "can you believe Christmas is here already?" "Didn't we just celebrate my birthday?" and, the one that I have more of an understanding of than I have at any point in the past: "Life is so short."

We as a society joke about how weird time is - especially after COVID - but to me, it's always been stressful and confusing and just sad. I wonder if this is the reason I haven't ever wanted children: I feel the passing of time very acutely. It strikes me as sad, though I still after a lifetime of this struggle, can't figure out why. Maybe because the past seems slightly better than whatever the future holds, but that's only because I theoretically know what happened in the past but have no idea what will happen in the future and I'd rather to cling to what I got (which of course is how you get less and less of it and is also a sign of trauma and of having been breadcrumbed pretty frequently in life) than venture off into the new and actually, you know, start my life with the little and rapidly vanishing time I have left.

I'm not the only one who struggles with the passage of time. Some people can't date within normal age ranges because they can't deal with the passage of time, which bears all of us away no matte how good we are, how young our partners are, or how much money we through at our problems. And this is okay. While the inevitability of death has always been the most crippling thing for me in terms of finding meaningful work, relationships, life in general (and is probably why I've always had issue with time passing), the only thing scarier than dying is not dying, at least this side of the Second Coming. Still, I can't help but yearn for time to freeze back in the "good old days," which I never thought I'd be only enough to understand, let alone say. I suspect I'm not alone in this struggle with finite time passing here on earth, and I think that's because:

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." ~all of Ecclesiastes 3:11