Time

Time’s a funny thing. How long would you say three minutes is? Not very long, right? Not much you can do in that time.

But actually, I’ve recently been surprised by just what you can get done in that time span.

A friend of mine gave me this beautiful handmade microwave heating pad. It’s filled with flax seed, which makes for a lovely, comforting smell when it’s heated. Because that’s what you do with it: you pop it in the microwave for – you guessed it – three minutes, and then you cosy up on the couch and let it warm your back or your lap while you slowly wake up to the day. Or really, two minutes, and then you flip it over and do one more. But I’m usually lazy and just hit the 3 and let it buzz away.

But then I need something to do until those three minutes are up. I don’t want to sit down on the couch to wait, because it’s not enough time to get comfortable. So I putter around the kitchen.

This morning, I got a dozen jars of marmalade labelled and put in their box to go downstairs to the pantry while the pad was heating. If you’d have asked me, I would have sworn that task would take at least ten minutes. But no, I got the last “Marmalade 2020” written on the lid (first canning of 2020, how fun!) before that beep sounded.

It’s funny – I had the labelling of those jars on my mental list as a “job” to make time for before heading out for this year’s February trip to Europe. A much bigger deal than it turned out to be. And the reason I know it didn’t take long is that I had the microwave buzzing away for exactly those three minutes, giving me a clear and objective measure of time.

And then of course there are those times when you’re sure that you’ve only spent three minutes, but in fact it’s been half an hour…

Life, the Universe, and the Fluidity of Time. Is it just me, or do you have those experiences too?