Tube of Birthday, Ink and colored pencil, 12x9"

Tube of Birthday, Ink and colored pencil, 12x9"

I have a very tenuous grasp on time. I always think I can do more in the allotted time than is possible and then I end up rushing to avoid being late (usually unsuccessfully). This “time grandiosity” I suffer from also means I start the day, a weekend, or in the case of the drawing above, my birthday vacation, with a sense of infinite time. And then suddenly the time is gone and I’m shocked and dismayed.

I always thought of time as passing on its own until I read this article at the beginning of my birthday vacation, How to Actively Take Control of Your Time, which compares time to a tube of toothpaste.

Unlike a stream running or sand falling in an hourglass, toothpaste does not simply come out of a tube on its own – we force it out and use it up…Time does not fly by – rather, we push minutes, hours and days out of our finite toothpaste tube of life.  ~ Sid Savara

So at the beginning of my vacation (back in June) I drew the tube of paint (seemed more appropriate than toothpaste) and marked off what I did each day. I paid attention to the choices I was making about how I squeezed out that day’s “paint.”

What about you? Do you choose how you squeeze out the hours of your life or do you feel like time is squirting by on its own?

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Category:
Colored pencil art, Life in general, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. Nice metaphor! I begin with good intentions, but must admit to being a middle-squeezer when I’m under the gun! 😉

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    • That’s so funny! But I guess squeezing from the middle is better than..to mix a metaphor… squeezing it from both ends. I’m going to have to give that some more thought–what does it really mean to be a middle-squeezer in life? Jana

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  2. Such a fun image, Jana! Myself? Life is full of flow. I don’t seem to squeeze anything –the paint just rolls out. Caught up in the flow I am having a wonderful time with each moment, but sometimes it goes too fast for me and it’s tomorrow before I am through with today.
    annie

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    • I admire your wonderful easy going spirit! And that happens to me too–I often find myself in tomorrow because I’m not finished with today yet…but I have been trying to get to bed before it’s tomorrow. Lack of sleep never helps. Jana

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  3. I love this!!! Can’t wait to go read the article and start on my own tube of toothpaste!

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  4. The older I get, the more I realize how precious time is. I have a friend who is often bored and will do this or that because she had time to “kill”. That expression always makes me wince. Time is never to be wasted…in fact, it is fleeting. I learned through the experience with my mother, who died two years ago at the age of 95, that even if you live a long life, those last years can be like a cage, and you may not have the capacity to come and go as freely as younger years, having to depend on the largesse of others to care for you and, if you’re lucky, take you places (which hopefully you are well enough of body and spirit to enjoy). This train of thought always motivates me artwise. I started late at art–and am progressing much slower than I’d like…but enjoying every moment of the experience! Thanks for this article, Jana…

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    • Well said! And I completely agree–sometimes the progress can seem very slow, but I think I’d rather have slow progress than nothing left to learn. How is your watercolor going? Jana

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  5. Time perception is one of those things that goes right to the heart of what we do. Seeing things intensely — noticing lots of features of a thing — seems to lengthen time (I think) as opposed to the rushing around aspect of modern life, which makes it feel like it flies by. Whenever I feel like too many things are happening, I try to remind myself to just “stop and look around.” It helps a lot! But goodness there are so many things in life designed to make one feel the need to rush. Being less ready to go along with all the rushing is a perennial challenge!

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