By Dr. Russ,
Monday is Dr. Russ Buss Day. Today I am thinking about the passage of time; about how to “Busst-UP” any pessimism blocking my optimism relating to past times and the inevitable passing of time. What can we do about “old man time?”
Today, I have the following “time passage” thoughts about which either I can take an optimistic or pessimistic perspective: 1) 102 days left to the end of the year; 2) the “Fall Equinox” will take place this week signaling the official end to the “lazy, hazy, fun-filled days of summer;” 3) my son will celebrate his 31st birthday tomorrow; 4) as usual, I have more I would like to get done today than I have time for; and 5) I have an assignment due on Wednesday that requires five other people to participate and I worry whether everyone will get their part done on time.
I think these are typical time type worries and if left as worries they can become mind deadening and emotionally draining “pessimizers.” I am reminded of a song and dance Vaudeville routine, the Cane Dance, made famous by the tap dance duo “Cooke and Brown” and first performed 1929. The theme and inspiration for the dance are the following words to a song entitled: “Old Man Time” – see lyrics below.
Old Man Time
He’s so mean.
The meanest man
You’ve ever seen.
He’ll give youth,
And he’ll take it away.
He’ll even make your hair turn gray.
He’ll make you rich,
He’ll make you poor.
He’s a dog and that’s for sure.
All your dreams and your schemes
Ain’t worth a dime.
So live it up every day.
Cause you never gonna get away
From that old man, old man time.
Dr. Russ Bussters to “Busst-Up” the Pessimism of “Time Passing”
- I need to remember and remind myself that, as much as I might like to, I do not control the passage of time. I do control my perception of time and the use of the time I have.
- While time cannot, time perception, can be changed. As the story goes, a very tall high rise building was completed and residents moved into apartments and condos on the uppermost floors. The elevators, however, often took 5 to 10 minutes from bottom to top. Complaints were immediately heard from the residents about the slowness of the elevators. The building engineer knew that there was no way to speed them up. In a creative moment, someone thought of putting mirrors in the elevator waiting areas on each floor. Immediately the complaints stopped. Why? People now had something personal and motivating (e.g., looking at themselves in the mirror) while time passed. In essence, their perception of time had changed.
- The above lyrics let us know that we must try to evaluate any given moment in time within a “long term view.” Such a “long term” view is how we are told to look at the ups and downs of the stock market. While there will be day-to-day fluctuations, money left in long enough (10-20 years) or more will grow.
- I need to mentally frame the statement 263 days gone by and 102 days left in 2010 from the optimistic perspective of making the best of the next 102 days and not the pessimistic one: “263 days have gone by and what have I accomplished.”
- The above lyrics tell us that while we cannot control “Old Man Time” we certainly have the choice to “live it up every day.” To me “living it up” does not mean making it a “Roman Feast Day” every day in accordance with the motto, “Eat, drink, and be merry.” Instead it means realizing today is the only day I have and therefore no matter happens: “It is the best Day I have because it is the only day I have.” My choice is to make the best of the day sunny or rainy!!!
- I can’t bring back summer except through pictures, videos and memories. Now I can look forward to the “fall colors,” “crisp, invigorating air,” “comfortable bike rides,” and “a little football.”
- I can take tomorrow to be proud of my son’s accomplishments and to spend time talking to him on the phone wishing him a “happy birthday.”
- Each day I must be willing to manage and revise my goals and priorities on a moment-to-moment basis working on those highest priority items. Some things can wait till tomorrow. Meanwhile I have managed my “time stress.”
- I can’t control my group members. I can only do my part and try to encourage them to do theirs.
What about you? How are you dealing with the passage of time? Make a comment and let me know.