Time is an interesting concept. It's so important in our lives and yet it's not something you can grasp. It's always going too fast or too slow. I think for today it's the former. You always have too much time and yet not enough. We know every second counts yet we always feel that we are constantly wasting some of it. And when we were younger, recess seemed to last forever. A day was so much longer. But now I'm looking at the clock and it's already almost seven o'clock and almost time for dinner. How did that happen? It's already almost August, over halfway through the summer.
It gets even weirder when you think about how seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years are all manmade. I mean we used it to coincide with the change of daylight to nighttime, but when we say it is July 31, 2016, that's completely made up. Especially the year we are in. Many different cultures have different calendars. We use a Christian-based calendar which goes with the birth of Christ (which is by the way four years off anyways). But in other cultures, it's not 2016 at all. The Islamic calendar, called the Hijra, is based off Muhammad's emigration from the city of Mecca to Medina and it says it's the year 1437. And yet we freak out if a calendar, such as the Mayan calendar comes to an end or if our calendar changes from 1999 to 2000. We, humans, made the calendars...so stop freaking out.
If you're wondering why I got on the topic of the history of time it is because I have been taking a history class this summer on the development of humanity and civilization. (If you go to De Anza community college in California, get Kline. He's hilarious and very knowledgeable!)
I always have a weird perspective with time. I'm always looking way into the future and getting excited for goals I've set for myself far down the line. Yet I'm understanding that life is full of unforeseen twists and turns; so why am I bothering? It's like I can't help myself. It just keeps me going. Just today I was thinking about decorating my apartment in the fall. Yesterday I went so far as to be thinking about marriage and kids. My mom has gotten completely used to my forward-thinking, allowing me to day dream out loud to her all the time. We chatted yesterday about all kinds of things in the future and basically the meanings of life while pruning roses and walking the dogs downtown. I'm so worried that I am not fully utilizing time and yet when I get a break, I fall into watching TV or playing Angry Birds 2 on my phone. I feel like even the most successful people feel this way: that they are not using the day to its full potential. There's always more that can be done. But with this mentality, one can never be satisfied. While it's very important to get, stuff done, if you are always itching to get from one thing to another, you won't ENJOY your time.... Therefore, it's a waste...?
This brings up the question, well what is the point of time? Back to the meaning of life. By this point you're probably going, wow she is getting philosophical here, but honestly think for a second. For everyone there's probably a different emphasis on what is important in life. In my opinion, it comes down to three main things in this order:
1) Being happy
2) Making others around you happy
3) Being remembered
If you aren't happy, then you won't look back on your life in the last few seconds of living and be at rest. And I'm not saying being creepily happy all the time, because that is not possible, but being generally content. Looking on the bright side. Not letting yourself get in the way. Following your dreams even if you don't achieve them completely (though making the reasonable would help). When you are dying, money won't matter, but memories will.
The second most important thing, but it should go together with the first thing if you want good memories, is making others around you happy. Humans are naturally social creatures. Sure, there are times when we want to be alone, but generally when you are with others, and I mean kind, positive, up-lifting others, life is more meaningful.
And these two, usually help with the third: being remembered. I care a lot about being remembered. I want to make my impact on the world. That doesn't necessarily mean that I want the whole world to know my name, but I want to make my mark on those I care about. I want people to look through their photo albums and go "Oh ya that's Becky! She's such a fun/kind/enthusiastic person." I want to be a good influence.
Now why am I thinking about all of this? Well partially, I was watching the movie Paper Towns (recommended) and they were talking about how they were leaving high school and they might not see each other again. I remember going through that with my friends and, honestly, I have only seen a few of my friends from high school and it's only been a year. I remember worrying about losing all my friends when I went off to college, but now I'm realizing that for the most part the friendships haven't died; they're on standby. Everyone is doing their own thing and that itself is cool to see. I love seeing when my friends are going. And, of course, I've made new friends.
So maybe ending a part of my time here isn't so bad. I look back at my high school years with a big smile. It wasn't all smooth-sailing, but it was fun.
Another reason why I am thinking of this is that my grandpa passed away at the age of 90 about a week ago. I am glad that I got to see him a few weeks before with my dad (his son). I can remember him as a lively, sweet man with a thick British accent. He always used to call me "a love." I think my whole family is struggling with the fact that he's gone since he lived seven hours away so we didn't see him too often. The last time I saw him before the last visit was two Thanksgivings' ago. I wonder what his last thoughts were....
Since I promised an update in the title I will let you know what I have done with my time since the last post, while trying not to waste too much more of your time. For the first week of break I got to come home, but that didn't feel like long till I packed back up for a trip with my family (including my two cousins, their parents, and my grandparents) to Banff, Canada. My grandma, who is eighty-six, and my other grandpa, who is eighty-nine, absolutely love Banff because of its green forests and tall, purple mountains. It was very cold there even though it was June, and one of my best memories of the last trip was biking through the valley (even though towards the end it started to pour on us), visiting a cute, little breakfast shop in downtown Canmore where I learned to like tea called Communitea (get it!), hiking up a mountain to a tea shop next to glaciers, and celebrating my dad's fifty-fourth birthday at a wooden restaurant overlooking the valley.
For the rest of the summer, I have primarily been doing summer school at the local jc that I mentioned earlier. I am taking a history course and a graphic design course where I'm refining my skills with Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. I have really enjoyed my classes (not to mention they will help boost my GPA). I'm kind of sad that it is my last week of summer school this week.
But, again, there's always so much to look forward to. For me it's going to Lake Shasta with my family (extended again) where we will go tubing, fishing, and house boating. Then on September 1st, my future roommates will be coming to visit and we will be going to Beach Boardwalk, San Francisco, and Monterey. Then it will be time to head back to Eugene.
I hope everyone else is having a fabulous summer vacation!