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Happy New Year!

2015 gives us all we get: the gift of time

Time has been short as the old year withered and died. Now 2015 stretches before us in vast, unbroken possibility.
    Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
    when a new planet swims into his ken;
    Or like stout Cortex when with eagle eyes
    He star’d at the Pacific — and all his men
    Look’d at each other with a wild surmise …
    I look at the new year with the poet Keats’ wild surmise. (Yes, Keats confused Balboa with Cortez, but the poet, dead at 25 in 1821, had no Internet to check his every fact.)
    2015 is nothing much so far, so it can be anything.
    That is very good for me, for I never have enough time.
    About one hour and 45 minutes. That’s my estimation of my typical deficit. My husband says that’s about right. He should know. He’s spent two-thirds of his life waiting for me to be ready.
    Yesterday morning, for example, we made an early start for the gym, at least according to the schedule I’ve run on for most of 2014. It was about 8:30. Except that the car clock reported 10:15.
    And this clock runs slow, Bill said.
    That’s ridiculous! I said. We got going early.
    Yes, he said, except that we read newspapers for an hour, packed supplies for winterizing the boat, checked email, got to the car without your glasses and went back, went back again for the bottles of wine to remember Moe to the couple who hit him tennis balls …
    Well of course, I said. I live in the time zone of the eternal present. The eternal present stretches to hold any little thing you have to do on the way to a fixed goal, like getting out the door to go to work.
    What’s more, you get extra time when you’re doing two things at the same time, from reading the Style section of the Washington Post while getting dressed to checking email while on the phone.
    Do you mean, asked Bill, that doing two things at once doesn’t take longer than doing either of them separately? Because even if it’s Style you’re reading, reading slows down …
    No that’s not it at all, I countered. Doing two things at once breaks the time barrier. You can get them both done in no time. Multitasking to three or four things gives you time credit, like when you have a home wind generator and it feeds extra energy back into the grid.
    We talked our way the seven miles to the gym. But we were treating ourselves to biscuit breakfast sandwiches, and we couldn’t get them after maybe 10:45. So we wouldn’t have time to get them after we finished at the gym.
    While we were that way, we checked the library to see if the tennis players were out. Yes, they were, so we stopped to give them Moe’s gift and all had a bit of a cry about dogs …
    As long as we were that way, we better stop by the hardware store in case we didn’t have that long-necked funnel on the boat. I just needed another thing or two there …
    It was a little after 11 by the time we got to the gym, But that was way early compared to the time it really was (I misread the new misleading clock) when I decided to get ready to serve that night’s dinner.
    I blame it on short time. When the year is into its last days, time runs faster the way the last sand in an hourglass rushes through the funnel. The last days of December have almost no time at all. No wonder I can’t keep up. Time runs faster than any mere human, even on a fast program on the treadmill in the gym.
    So 365 days of infinite time is what I foresee in 2015. Except that they’re already slipping away …
    What do you see in your future in this fresh new year?
    That’s the point of Bay Weekly’s first feature story in Vol. XXIII, No. 1, in the year of our lives 2015. Our answers here and in that story are prompts to you …

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com