Time. Time is:
a. A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/in+time)
Time is not something we can ignore at will, as long as we intend to interact with others — be they individual humans, or the cosmos.
Something seems not quite right about time, however. It is arbitrary and seemingly unchangeable. But if we let go of the notion of measured time, we find other ways humans have kept track of the order of events. In prehistoric days, pre-Stone Age, early humans marked the passage of events with a relatively simple method — when something needed to be done, someone would do it. And then that task, like all others, disappeared into memory or nothingness, as the next necessary act came along. This is the simplest way of measuring time — I believe those ancestors didn’t consider time at all.
But, as long as 30,000 years ago, someone noticed that the sun rose and set, or the moon the same, in a pattern. Animals probably migrated at a certain spot in the continuum; likewise, they mated and nurtured young at a measurable moment in the year. When the first human looked at daily life and began to mark certain parts of a day, or year for certain events, the big essence of time — Time — came into being.
The delineation and measurement of time grew through the millennia, and rather than try to describe each step, I offer this link. Here you will find detailed information on the development of early calendars, sundials, and tracks of time through the sun, stars, and moon. All of these are important parts of the concept of Time. But I want to address time as we measure it right now — and a way we can improve our passage of time in this crazy busy life.
Many, if not most, humans now keep some kind of schedule. It may be when to feed the cows, or when to show up at work, when the lobster are migrating, or the trees turning color, signifying time to prepare for winter. Schedules seem to have become an integral part of our lives. As a result, many of us spend all of our time thinking about what is coming up; essentially wasting the present while waiting for the future. And waste is the operative word.
Others of us spend so much energy and time in regret for past behaviors, occurrences, feelings — so much time looking at the past that we forget to look at the world around us in this moment. Both of these human perceptions of time rob us of the utter enjoyment of now, the present instant, today. I speak of this because I’ve spent many hours in one or the other direction; anxious over what has happened, or worried over what might happen next.
In this frame of mind, I have wasted between three and four decades of my life, until the day came that I was unwilling to waste any more time. Since then, I’ve backslid into anxiety and worry, but as long as I know well enough to take a deep breath and look around, and find the joy and excitement in now, I can recover from that kind of dip, and face today with hope and confidence.
Each of us is given only a certain amount of time, here on earth. Our main job is to wring every drop of happiness from that time, so that we never get lost in regret or worry.