By: Talyn Terzian-Gilmour
I’ve always been fascinated with time. When I was growing up, time was not measured in minutes or hours but by all the places outside of the present. I would dream of a future world with teleportation so that I could be with my cousins in Canada one day, and my cousins in Europe and the Middle East, the next. I would dream of a past where I could have been a real
medieval princess spending my days with my sister watching knights joust (and not to the death), listen to my dad, a very honourable and fair King, plan how to defend our territories, and see my fair and beautiful mother host visiting dignitaries intent on being a part of our magic.
Later, time took on a different meaning as I rebelled and sought to be a bigger part of the world in which I was living. I willed it to pass more quickly so I could get my driver’s license, get into clubs, get my first apartment, my first promotion, and eventually get married. I imagined how big my life would be, and the future each of the steps I was taking, would lead me. I even toyed a little with existentialism as my anxieties grew about the choices I was making, exploring the possibility that time could exist not just as I knew it, but in a parallel or alternate universe where different choices would have different outcomes – taking the pressure off my need for perfection.
Despite it all, time would do what it does without abandon and complete reliance: it moved on. My thoughts would have less time to develop as once again I willed it to pass quickly after having children. I needed to remember what it was like to be human and sleep through the entire night not awoken by the cry I would have to decipher among needing a change, needing to be fed, needing to be cuddled, needing to feel safe, needing to feel less wound up and agitated, and so on and so forth. Despite feeling like an hour would take an eternity to pass, and a night would end in a fleeting moment, time continued to move at its own pace.
I have now reached where my very wise mom told me I would; I am now at the place where I am trying to find a way to slow time down. I feel like it’s getting away with me – like there’s never enough of it…
When time is measured solely by our own achievements, it doesn’t feel like it’s moving fast enough; getting through high school takes an eternity (like all those pimples that NEVER really seem to disappear overnight!) or building a meaningful career also can take an eon. Yet, when we accept that some things will just happen at their own pace, without interference, time takes on a more benign quality – like the 8 foot pyramidal oak I planted in our backyard just 10 or so years ago which now stands over three times as high, but it got there ever so quietly; unnoticeably.
Now, I find myself on the edge of that same precipice again as time once again delivers us the end of another year. It is at this cusp when many of us – and me included – stop and take stock of all that has passed us by, all our achievements and regrets, and look hopefully towards our futures.
We all have our little traditions when it comes to marking those first moments in the new year. My family – my uncles in particular – like going to church on the first day of the year. Personally, I’ve always been fascinated by the stars, even at a very young age, and every year, I find a moment to look up at the sky and find one. That’s when I give thanks for all that I have and think of a profound and meaningful wish for the year to come. Incidentally, my favourite
tradition which I started as a teenager was to climb out of my window onto the roof of our garage (when it was safe enough to do so) and stare at the stars for as long as I could take and before I’d turn into a human popsicle!
Being a little bit more cautious, and a little less tolerant of the cold, I now think to myself in preparation…what will it be this year? More time with family? Finally “learning to run”? Taking better care of myself by making more time for pampering? Travel? Or will I tackle that project that’s been eating away at the back of my mind…?
Recently, I was at a bridal shower and the very animated and gregarious groom, as per tradition, arrived with flowers for his bride-to-be and made a speech. He said something like, “all of us in this room are proof that we can control time. That we can leave whatever is going on in our lives and come together to celebrate this event…” His speech made me smile and gave me pause – of course, at the beginning of our lives we seem to have power over time, but now, I know better.
While I haven’t quite landed on what I will resolve to do this year, I will say this: I love the hustle and bustle and perhaps my greatest wish is that it never leaves me. Dear friends, I hope to see more of you, more of your laughter and share in more of your joys. I wish you all great achievements, adventure and excitement as your lives continue to unfold and perhaps what time has taught me most, is to wish for good health for all of us. Happy New Year!