I was just editing one of the novels in a series of eight books I've been writing for three and a half years now. I haven't shown any of it to publishers yet. So: Shhh.
The books are all set in Egypt in 1934 and 1935 and are about a thirteen-year-old boy and his friends. A former student who is a thriller novelist has called them "The Alchemist Meets Harry Potter Meets Indiana Jones." I hope so.
In my editing, I came across a passage just now that I wanted to share. An older man, Ali Shabeezar (the Gandalf, the Dumbledore) is talking to his young nephew Walid, and the boy's best friend Mafulla. He's just reflected on our common experience that time can seem to pass slowly when we're bored, or suffering, but quite quickly when we're wholeheartedly engaged in something we enjoy. And this is true despite the fact that a clock or watch would register the same objective passage of seconds, minutes, and hours, regardless of our experience. And here I quote:
Walid remembered their many previous conversations and said, “You mean that, with time, as with so many other things, appearances can be very different from realities?”
“Yes, that’s correct. And, as a consequence of this, most people have trouble keeping accurate track of time, and managing their time well. In fact, our use of time is one of the top challenges we face in life. We all have the same number of minutes in every hour, but some people can get a great deal accomplished in that length of time, and others fall far short of what they could have done. Some people use their lifetime well and achieve great things. Others allow time to slip away from them and squander one of their most precious resources.”
“In addition, there’s one thing that you’ll notice as you grow older. The people who seem most flagrantly to waste their own time will try also to take it from you, and waste yours, as well. You must be very careful around those who would abscond with your time. Time is one of the few things in the world that, if stolen, is absolutely impossible to get back. It can never be retrieved from a thief.”
“Wow, that’s true,” Mafulla said. “But I’d never thought about it.”
Walid jumped right in, adding, “And I suppose that, for the same reason, if I give my time to a friend, to help with a project, or just to listen to his problems, then that’s one of the most valuable things I can ever give.”
“That’s right and very wise. Investing time in an activity, or with a person, is imparting a very precious, limited resource. Always remember that. We must use our time well, or we’ll look back on our lives with regret. Some things are worth our time, and others simply are not. Be careful with your time, and protect it well, but don’t hoard it like a miser. It’s to be used and given to worthy pursuits and to the people you care about. That’s what it’s for.”
End of quote. It's a reminder we all need.
May your time be well used today.