There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.

– Leo Christopher

For me, the concept of time has always been a fascinating enigma. Time seems to have its own whims and fancies, almost like a shape-shifter. It would crawl at a snail’s pace when I impatiently waited, and then suddenly sprint like a marathoner when I found myself running late. In moments of sorrow, it would stretch itself out endlessly, making each passing second feel like an eternity. But when happiness enveloped me, it would play the trickster, slipping through my fingers like grains of sand in an hourglass. And during those interminable stretches of boredom, it would drag on, testing the limits of my patience.

What I’ve come to understand is that time isn’t just the mechanical ticking of the clock on the wall. It’s a fluid and dynamic entity, profoundly influenced by our emotions and mental states. It bends and morphs, its passage dictated not by the hands of the clock but by the inner workings of our hearts and minds.

Understanding the delicate dance of PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE has always intrigued me. It’s not just about knowing these temporal dimensions; it’s about recognizing when each of them should take the stage in our lives. Often, I found myself entangled in the past, drawn to its familiarity, its known contours. Dreams of the future, ripe with grand plans, would flicker in my mind, but the courage to turn them into reality sometimes eluded me, and I’d return to the embrace of the present.

But then, I began to perceive the present in a new light. It’s not merely a fleeting moment but a precious gift. Just being here, right now, living each day, is an accomplishment. It’s an achievement not bestowed upon everyone. Some souls departed yesterday, and others will depart tomorrow; the unpredictable nature of life’s time machine is ever at work.

“Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy.”
― Roy T. Bennett

The true gift, I realized, lies not in the time left to live but in the way we inhabit the time we’re granted. It’s about cherishing the present, the here and now, as if it were the most magnificent gift, for indeed, it is.

Time, I’ve come to understand, is a complex interplay of intuition, hope, and desire. It’s those moments when you’re compelled to sit down and immerse yourself in a book when the world around fades into insignificance. It’s also those instances when your choices saved a life or prevented you from getting hurt. Time can be the instant you crave someone to reassure you that everything will be alright, or the moment when the only option is to move forward.

In this vast expanse of time, I’ve realized that my time and your time might never quite align, but as time unfolds, we’ll both come to acknowledge that certain moments were not meant for us. Missing out on those moments feels like honey slipping through your fingers, leaving behind a lingering, intangible sensation.

Time, I’ve learned, is fluid, elusive, and often intangible. It doesn’t conform to strict measurements but rather ebbs and flows, leaving behind a trail of unanswered questions and countless untold stories.

“Don’t waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear.”
― Paulo Coelho

The sand on the beach, I’ve come to realize, doesn’t quantify time; it sprawls infinitely. However, when confined within an hourglass, it’s coerced into a repetitive cycle, always trickling the same amount. Time imposes constraints on our aspirations, enforces deadlines, and herds our existence into rigid segments.

Just like the sand in that hourglass, sometimes we confine our dreams and passions, trapping them within the glass walls, and continue turning from side to side, yearning for a different narrative. But when the weight of this repetitiveness becomes too burdensome, we must remember that there’s always an alternative, even if it means shattering the hourglass and breaking free.

In life, we perpetually face a choice: to remain restricted within the confines of an hourglass or to shatter those barriers and embrace the caress of the ocean breeze every morning.

I wrote my stories, just like everyone else, and each place, person, or event was etched somewhere in my slice of time. We often refer to these moments as “today” or “that day.” While the past events find their places in time, it can become quite a challenge to recall all those dates. Some people might consider the y-axis for time, but I’ve always favored the x-axis for the events that I store in the library of my life.

“Time doesn’t heal emotional pain, you need to learn how to let go.”
― Roy T. Bennett

This private library of mine, with limited visitors and requests for borrowing volumes arranged in the attic, holds my memories from the past in stories bound between hardcovers. There are no labels, no alphabetic order, no titles. The stories take up almost a meter of shelf space, lined up in the order they unfolded. Some have missing pages; I tore them out because revisiting them was too painful. Others have blank pages at the end, as they were never meant to be concluded. A few underwent revisions, but they all share the same endings. Thick or thin, they’re all encapsulated within hardcovers.

Now and then, I’ll pluck one from the shelf, flip through its pages, and relive a splendid time, but more often than not, I find myself engrossed in somber tales. While I continue to write new stories, the one that always occupies my desk is the grand narrative destined to make history, the one that would rewrite the most enchanting story of all. The length of that book will consume the remaining meter of time. What weighs on my mind is that as time goes by, I have less space left on the shelf to accommodate this magnum opus.

“There is no one busy in this world, it’s always about priorities. You will always find time for the things you feel important”

Nishan Panwar

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