We have all heard the old adage, “Time flies when you are having fun.” Time also appears to move more slowly when you are not. This is one if the greatest injustices in the universe. Not only because fun times go quickly, but also because Time forces us to experience, in detail, every excruciating moment of boredom as if it were an eternity.
There are many un-fun times that appear to go by slowly. For me, waiting in line is the worst of them. There is just something upsetting about waiting in line and feeling like you have never been anywhere else. The whole world is a never-ending queue. Your legs are tired of standing, your feet and back are aching; and then you look at the clock and realize that it has only been a few minutes.
There are many other examples of distorted time during boring situations. These include sitting in class, working, taking a long drive, or basically any time when you would rather be doing something else. Attempts to make these un-fun times go by faster are unwise. Most un-fun situations, like waiting in line, sitting in class, or doing work, require a certain amount of attention. I have found that the best way to make time go by faster is to go to sleep. But you can’t just fall asleep every time you are not amused, however amusing that might be.
I guess you could also read a book. This works well enough in waiting rooms and airports. However, if you start reading something every time you are bored then people will think you are rude, because the same things do not bore everyone.
Then there is the other side of this conundrum. To restate the colloquial phrase at the top of this column, “Time flies when you are having fun.” While not quite as unfair as boring times dragging on and on, it still can be a thorn in the proverbial backside. It is always nice to realize that you have some spare time before you have to go out and be responsible. For me, this usually occurs in the morning when I wake up earlier than intended. Usually I think it is really cool that I have an hour or so before work to play video games. It seems that I have barely sat down to play before I have to stand up and leave. I suppose it is better to have fun and quit than to not have fun at all. But I never want to be mature enough to appreciate that sentiment.
I have lived a life of relative bliss. I don’t really want to admit this because everyone knows that stories are much better with conflict and a good antagonist. Since my own life has not presented me with any real antagonists, I make them up. This does not mean that I harbor vindictiveness or anything of the sort. I am not thinking, “Gee, I really hate Time and want to get revenge!” I just like to personify things, use my imagination. Life is more fun that way, but I’d better not say that, or stupid Time will make all the fun go away.