Time will pass… Will you??

“Time and tide wait for none” – All of us have grown up hearing this proverb since childhood. Time – keeps ticking and you cannot stop it. Your good times pass sooner than your bad times you assume. Time definitely flies, and does not return. All these show how we have no control over time whatsoever. Time runs and runs without waiting for you or me.

Time will pass.. will you?‘- was a topic in my recent session of Toastmasters that I attended last Sunday. The competition had the same topic being given to 4 different speakers ( each speaker was being given a chance to speak in the others’ absence).

Every speaker who entered the room separately was given this topic and each one had a different perspective to it. It was great to listen to each one’s version as it was different from the other. It was like different minds and different thinking.

1. The first speaker shared of her recent experience of how a road accident taught her something for the lifetime. The accident had left a scar on her hand but she did not want to get rid of the scar mark, because she wanted to have it as a remembrance of her mistake of overspeeding that caused the accident. For her the context was more on how time passes , yet people learn a lot with time and move on. She urged the audience to meet people who have had worst experiences in the past and still come out strong in the present. What she aimed to put across is that we could learn from the bad of the past and still get ahead to a different future. All she was focussing on was how bad times pass, yet teach you a lesson which remains for life. A lot of truth in it that set the tone of the competition right that day.

2. The second speaker had a different perspective to this topic. He focussed on how it is important for us to spend time with our grandparents now than later when they are no longer with us. He shared an incident of his friend who recently got married and was asked by his father to visit his grandfather in his native. Owing to the many excuses of need to go for a honeymoon, celebrate wife’s birthday and having to impress his boss for the upcoming project, he did not go. A week later, his family received the news of his grandfather who passed away in sleep. His perspective of time was how relationships hold important to each one of us and how necessary it is to spend time with our families – be it parents, grandparents, kids etc before they lose out their time. We need to outline our priorities yet draw attention to our family members in terms of spending time with them.

3. The third speaker shared his life experience when his mother was diagnosed with cancer when he was in his teens and how he felt that his whole world came shattering to a close that moment. He felt helpless and did not know how he could survive such tough times and the fact that he could lose his mother, kept haunting him all the time. He felt he could not face these testing times and was often in a helpless state. He had too many troubling thoughts of how he could lose his mother to such a disease and how she had to undergo painful times along with the many chemotherapy sessions to get rid of the disease. For him, this was definitely a testing time and he did not know if he could ever move out of this situation. His mother then spoke to him, calmed him down and gathered every strength to tell him that he should stop worrying and be her strength, her courage in these times of pain. The fact that worrying will not do any good instead need to be more practical and proactive in terms of handling situations as worse as these so you could not make time make you feel worst, instead you gather courage stay strong with time and fight back.

4. The fourth speaker (the winner of the competition) turned another aspect for this topic of time with her questions to the audience of how do we still carry our first standard textbooks with us on our backs? Do we still feel the need to have them around us, above our heads?. Her questions intrigued us to think on how we do not carry our past with us. Everything that happens in the past is something we leave behind and move ahead for a better future. Past , both good and bad teach us lessons for life that we carry with us (and not the past bad pains) for a better future.

Very well brought out by each participant. One small topic but so many versions to it. Different ways to interpret, introspect, add meanings to it etc. Just a few words to this title and so much goes on, on one’s mind when you read this line over and over again. From my perspective, time definitely does not wait for anyone, it is moving irrespective of you moving with it or standing still with your life situations.

It’s a question to yourself, a question to your conscience. It’s a question to your games, your pains, your experiences, your troubles, your weaknesses and your efforts. A question to each of these that have left you stagnant somewhere in life. A question to those situations or troubles in your life that have pushed you to a roadblock and you see no way out. A question to your bad experiences that have ripped off your happiness. A question to your decisions that you have not taken owing to the many reasons that surround them. Think over – Time will pass irrespective of your many hardships, testing times etc but what is your role in it?? Will you sit through these pains for months together or walk out of them with your head held high, with the lessons time has taught you over this period?.

This line definitely reminded me of my sister in law whom I bumped into while at a store. My sister in law, is a widow of my cousin brother who died in a road accident in September last year. I saw her exactly 5 months after his death. She looked different from what she was before, when she was with my brother. She was shattered when she lost her husband and today she stood strong, focussing on her new found profession of designing clothes and I saw her very involved in getting the right materials. When my mother saw her, she had a different perspective to seeing her, she kept saying – she moved on so easily after his death. But to me, I felt her strength that she built during the 5 months, came after a lot of hardships, challenging thought processes, fighting her helplessness during her alone times etc. It takes a lot of courage for a woman to stand on her feet after losing her husband who was the sole breadwinner of the family. I prayed for her after that day. I am sure it was not so easy for her but my brother up there, would definitely be smiling seeing her bloom like this in his absence and not sit weeping and mourning and wasting her life with just his memories.

Reflect back to your teenage times, your adulthood, your Parenthood etc – you have faced the best and the worst, you have your own set of regrets and guilts and even proud moments. Reflect back to those times of failures and pains that left you in the lurch. Yet you have come a long way to stand where you are right now. Feel the pride of standing on your own feet in terms of the many lessons you have learnt the hard way, be it from your broken relationships or after losing a loved one or walking out of something that was not worth your time and efforts or your failures that did not work according to your plans but somehow pushed you over to a new level.

Taking a small example of my 10th STD board exams – I was down with chicken pox right after my third exam and I had three more to go, that too the tough ones – science, maths and social science. I felt very helpless. I thought I should just give up, now that I was in pain and testing times. On the other hand it was a question of another whole year being wasted. It looked more like I have crossed the ocean halfway and I have another mile to go to reach the shore. I either lament for not having the strength to proceed further, or waste my earlier efforts of crossing the ocean halfway and get back to the start position. My mother and my teacher played a very incidental role in pushing me to move ahead. They were like the spreader that stood strong and tall in my ship that helped me move ahead inspite of the storm of chicken pox surrounding me all over leaving me drained out. Inspite of the contagious disease, I went to the exam Hall, sat on a bench far off from the usual students group, like an untouchable and still managed to complete all my remaining papers. While at home I focussed on studying lying down on my bed covered with neem leaves. To be by my side, my mother came to the exam centre and waited for 3 hours everyday to check on me and pick me up after the exams.

My biggest lesson I learnt during this testing time was how it was important for me to not give up in those moments of pain and disease and still go ahead and complete my remaining papers as while I was down with chicken pox, the time was still moving. My mind was just in one direction of pausing and letting the already completed efforts of exams go in vain. All that my mother and teacher helped me realize is that I had to move ahead with time no matter what is pulling me down. From a disease like chicken pox or a broken leg (if I had) I had to still keep moving. That determination and encouragement made me get ahead for good. I should be so thankful for not having myself give up like a failure and moved ahead like a warrior with time. Reminds me of this saying I came across on Pinterest, that made me reflect back on life majorly – “if you knew the exact date of your death, would you speed up or slow down?”. This is so true. A big question to each of ourselves. Think about it.

My other testing time I remember is my trip to New York on account of my job for 4 months. For someone who hadn’t been away from her parents, moving to a different geographical location was definitely a testing time. I still remember it was during January 2015 when I was so homesick, disturbed in the head as I was living there alone with my colleagues who were away from their families too. My first 20 days were mix of homesick feeling plus foundation building times (I was beginning to live all by myself, do all the chores and cooking by myself etc). It was definitely a struggle for me at the beginning, also contemplating to come back to India to my parents. But I still continued. As time passed, I fell in love with New York – the place, the people, the beauty, the rush etc. When time moved, I also began to take steps with it together in a place that was so different to the place I was living – culturally, beliefs wise, even the mindsets of the people were different. Hadn’t I been adaptive like my colleagues who were supportive and understanding, I wouldn’t have survived the 4 months and come out as a different girl altogether.

There is a race against time but it is also important to move along with time. You could feel like being handcuffed or being held by the hardships like a captive, but you have to free yourself. Push yourself out of those times to live up to better times ahead. I have realized that we are given one life to live, one fixed time period. It is for us to create our own destiny with our own decisions. The decision to stop or move, the decision to say a yes or a no, the decision to accept or reject etc.

I have begun to take this saying very strongly – ‘The bad news is that Time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot‘ Like the situations I shared to show you how we have to move on with time, I am sure many of you can relate to such cases with experiences in your life. It is important to move ahead with time.

As Sam Levenson said – “Don’t watch the clock. Do what it does, keep going“. Good luck readers!!

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