Monday, January 4, 2010

My 27 Hour Solution

Husband and I were recently talking about time.  How it passes both quickly and slowly.  How "the days are endless and the years fly by."  How we wish we had more of it.  More of it for ourselves, at least.

I reminded him then of my theory of time.  I was reminded of it myself while at Christmas Mass.  At 33, the 60 minute service flew by in a flurry of readings, carols, and incense.  But I still remember how long that same hour felt to me as a kid.  How I hoped that the congregation would speak instead of sing the Responsorial Psalm.  How I rejoiced when the priest chose, as he did this year, to read the shortened version of the Gospel.  How I dreaded the arrival of a visiting missionary, whose sermon would undoubtedly last far longer than that of our parish priest.  How each minute felt like more.  (Devout, I was not.)

I believe that time passes more quickly as we get older because each minute represents a smaller portion of the life we have lived thus far.  When you are six, you have lived relatively fewer minutes and, therefore, each minute feels longer.  When you are 86, you have lived so many minutes that each one is an infinitesimal drip in your cup of life.

Considering my theory of time and the ways in which I feel it slipping through my hands, I proposed to Husband a solution that, while completely impossible due to its flouting of both astrophysics and circadian rhythms, would help me tighten my grasp on that elusive passing of the moments.

And so I present to you my 27 Hour Solution:

Add three extra hours to each day: one of those hours would be just for you, uninterrupted, for whatever you wanted - reading, writing, picking your cuticles while staring out the window.  Whatever.  The second hour would be for your loved ones - kids, lovers, or friends.  Again uninterrupted.  No bills to pay, meals to cook, or soliciting phone calls to answer.  The third hour would be for sleep - blissful, rejuvenating slumber.  An hour added on to the night, or a nap in the middle of the day.

Three extra hours to renew self and spirit.  Three hours to celebrate activity or stillness.  Three hours to be.

A pipe dream, but a dreamy dream, no?

How do you make time for yourself, your loved ones, and your sleep in your 24 hour day?

Image: "Santiago Catedral Reloxo da Berenguela," by LMbuga at Wikimedia Commons via a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Spain License.


  1. Kristen - I carve that hour for me out of each day. I spend it in several different ways but I do it by resetting my rhythms. I get up an hour before everyone else, or at least before the one in high school does. This way I can exercise, read blogs, answer emails, read a book, write, whatever I want.

    I do want your three hours, though!!!

  2. I pipe dream, but, indeed, dreamy. How about 15 minutes for me, 15 minutes for kids and 15 minutes for sleep? Not nearly as good as your idea, but maybe attainable?

  3. A dreamy dream indeed!

    So good to be back reading your words and pondering your thoughtful questions. I like your theory of time and find it to be quite apt. Your musing with your man reminds me of Gretchen Rubin's statement - "The days are long, but the years are short."

    I have often dreamed this same dream. If there were just a few extra hours in the day, it would all seem a bit more doable. But now you have me wondering whether if we had those hours, we would just need more? In the same way as when we move into a bigger home, we immediately fill the space? Just a thought...

    Here's to dreaming dreamy dreams in 2010 and beyond!

  4. I think you should talk to the powers above and pitch your 27 hour idea ;)

  5. I am miserable in the morning and can't deal with getting up before the kids 6 am calls for Moooooomieeee! But I have improved my time issues in one way - instead of worrying about everything I need to do and rushing through the kids bedtime books trying to get back to my computer, I fall asleep with them in bed and just let it go.

    It started out as necessity - I just couldn't stay awake. Then I began to realize how lovely it is falling asleep with their sweet little breath on my face. I usually wake up again around 10 or 11 and stumble to my toothbrush and into my bed. So, I miss TV and don't accomplish as much STUFF in a day, but I am more rested and more in love with the cherubs.

  6. I love the early morning for the sense of time it provides, though taking it cuts into much needed sleep.

    "Me" time remains insufficient, even with teens.

    A 27-hour day would be about right. Might we all simply will it to pass, but without any aging impacts accrued through the additional 21 hours per week?

  7. Oh that DOES sound dreamy. I agree with Corinne. Time to pitch that one to the Powers. :-)

  8. Oh my goodness! I am ALWAYS saying to my husband, "If only each day were 36 hours long! Then I could get everything done!" (I dream big!) But he just shakes his head and laughs that once I get my 36 hour days I'll only add so much more to my plate that I'll be wishing for 48 hour days.

  9. Okay, I'm in. Let me know when it is so.

  10. Yes Yes Yes. I'd actually take Ktch's suggestion too... 15 minutes for each.

    I have asked before why 30 minutes feels so LONG when I'm on the treadmill but it's so SHORT when it's one TV show I told my kids they can watch so I can do something for myself. Time... it's so relative.

    There's just never ever enough time. Never. But like you, I'm working on some sort of solution.

  11. Your theory sounds fantastic although as with most other things in life, I'm sure we (as humans) would figure out a way to wile away these extra hours and still complain about not having enough time in the day. I tend to schedule my time better the more full my day is and the less time I have to fart away. Maybe I should plan even MORE into my already busy schedule? HA! Anyway, thanks for stopping over to my blog to say hello! I, too, have found many eerie similarities between our stories. My husband and I just celebrated our anniversary on New Year's EVE...Happy belated to you and your husband! Stop back anytime!

    By the way, I love the questions you ask at the end of your posts...and your writing style is effortless to read. I will be back often!

  12. When my kids were little, I was pretty vigilant about naptime - for them. It was me time for mommy. Now everyone in the family thinks I have all this free time when I'm in my office, but, hello, I'm working! Apparently, it doesn't look like work. Thanks for the reminder that I need to actually kick back and relax sometimes too.

  13. It's a great idea; I'm on board. Except the rules would have to be really strict or else everyone would cheat and use the time for something else, and defeat the whole purpose. I remember those exact feelings during mass as a kid. I still kinda cringe if there's a missionary priest speaking. But now when I drag my butt to church, I'm just happy to sit for an hour.

  14. I am struggling with making use of the God given 24-hour-day. Recently, I have begun rising early to make use of my mornings. I have found, however, that I still need to wake up earlier to cram in everything I want.
    Sigh. I am trying to do things while my kids are sleeping so that, when they are awake, I can spend quality time with them. I hope I can make it work.


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