On the long ride back to Texas this Labor Day, Patrick and I have been listening to various podcasts to pass the time. Our favorite is This American Life, but we also listened to Radiolab for the first time on this ride. Fittingly, the show was about time. The episode featured stories about how the definition of time developed in Sandusky, Ohio and a time-lapse recording of a little girl through the years. There was also a story about various kinds of clocks including a spice clock that delivered time you could taste – imagine an hour that tastes like cinnamon.
Today many Americans are wishing time would slow down, prolonging their long weekend, as they sip beer and enjoy the last remaining moments of summer.
With a thirteen hour-car ride for Patrick and me, time is especially of the essence. The whole day is about passing time, moving forward. Despite wishing we could force the time to elapse more quickly, we’re stuck in this car together for at least three more hours. We pass the time with long conversations and these stories about time. Fortunately, I have my computer, so I also pass the time with work and blogging.
But if there’s something to take away from this day, it’s that we should enjoy the moment. Not everyone is as lucky as us to have the day off: the countless truckers we pass on the road, the gas station attendants, the radio DJs, the cops pulling people over (yes, even them) are all spending this holiday on the job. And since you can’t (easily) change the passage of time, you might as well just appreciate what you’ve got and enjoy the ride.