Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Times They Are a-Changin’ ....

Time is a great teacher ... a great healer ... it offers much ...  

Le Temps,
Charles van der Stappen
 – National Botanical Garden
of Belgium,  Meise: Time's 
mortal aspect is personified
in this bronze statue

We think the world stays the same – year in year out ... yet new countries are ‘born’ ... rather a lot recently .. the ex Russias, the split Yugoslavia, thirteen independents – think Namibia, the Marshall islands, Micronesia, then unification of the Germanies, while the Czech Republic and Slovakia separated. 

The tiny Caribbean island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten divided by French/Dutch rule – in September 2010 Sint Maarten became a constituent country of The Netherlands.


First Puffin nests found
on Surtsey 2004
New islands ‘pop’ up .. there’s a new volcanic island in the Red Sea that’s recently appeared .. will it last and ultimately have a name ... who knows.

A good example is Surtsey, south of Iceland, first appearing in 1963, two years later it was declared a nature reserve for the study of ecological succession; plants, insects, birds, seals, and other forms of life have since established themselves on the island.

Europe 2006 - Iceland top left
As children we have much to learn about the world order, but it is in later life that we start to understand the complexities of our planet and history .... I do understand now that no wonder I struggled collecting stamps as there were country changes then, or absorption by governments, or war ...  

... I sort of grasped that the British (and at that time the Americas’) calendar had changed and 11 days had been lost in the 1700s on the realignment of the Julian calendar to the Gregorian one in 1752.

Salvador Dali's exploding clock 1954
The Republic of Venice and the Roman Empire changed in 1582, while Russia only realigned in 1918 with the advent of the Revolution, but Greece hung out until 1924 (is that telling us something?)

We were vividly reminded of change by Samoa and the Tokelau (an archipelago north of Samoa), which decided they would miss out Friday December 30th 2011 altogether and just switch sides!  So they now reside as one of the first places on earth – not the last ... having “decreed” that the dateline be moved to ‘run’ east of their islands!

Blowholes in
Samoan Islands
- volcanic activity
There’s a commercial advantage for these islanders .. at long last they are on the same clock wave length as Australia, New Zealand and Asia ...

... however 767 Samoans missed out on their birthday last year, and 43 wedding anniversaries would be cheaper too ... but employers had to pay for the extra (missed) day.

Seth Godin says there is an artificiality of time ... it was only once the railways came in and timetables (self explanatory really!) needed to be set up, did the co-ordination of clocks come into force.


We have to clock in and clock out, rush in ... rush out  .... in the slow lane of life, set times for all things .... but now the internet opens up those time frames: how much time do we wish to invest in technical abilities and all that the net offers: those amazing opportunities available 24/7.

Time is static isn’t it ... Greenwich Mean Time is GMT and from here   (as I just about sit)   on the 0 degrees Prime (Greenwich) Meridian... all hours minutes and seconds are counted down according to the invisible GMT laser line ... from which time is calculated according to the Earth’s rotation.

But yet ... Maria Popova at Brain Pickings has uncovered “Just a Second” a lovely and refreshing book for kids, doubling as a curious and enjoyable trivia compendium for grown-ups (my kind of book!).  Check out her post ... from the 5,085-foot water journey of a whales song, to the 50-beats of a hummingbird’s wings to the 300-foot plunge of the a peregrine falcon .... all happen in a single second.

A measure that the author, Steve Jenkins, points out is a human invention: “The second doesn’t relate to any cycle in nature – but it is the shortest interval of time most of us use in our daily lives.  The Babylonians came up with the idea of a second about 4,000 years ago, but they had no way to measure such a short interval of time”


One compelling statistic .. 4 babies are born, 2 people die ... every second.

Going back to clocks that measure time – that standard of GMT, which we in Britain don’t even subscribe to properly .. having adopted British Summer Time during those months utilising more of the daylight hours.

FOCS 1, a continuous cold caesium fountain
atomic clock in Switzerland, started operating
in 2004 at an uncertainty of
one second in 30 million years.
The Chinese with their soaring aspirations in space are establishing a rival to the US global positioning system – and have hit the same snag with time that has prompted the US and others to propose the global replacement of GMT with the International Atomic Time by 2017 ... that of "leap seconds”.  So it looks like time will be ‘ruled’ by satellites with atomic clocks in a few years.



Time may change, countries change, everything changes ... we last approximately 80 – 100 years, the Greenwich time has lasted 127 years so far .... countries come and go – people do not ...  we are in a period of unbounded opportunity – the internet allows us that luxury of looking a gift horse in the mouth ... and not shying away ... allowing our dreams to come true, our goals to achieve. 

Dylan’s last verse for The Times They Are a’Changin recorded in 1964 have been as prophetic as each of us wish to consider, at whatever tender age we happen to be:  

“The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'”

Opportunity does reign if we can grasp it – while remembering others who do not have our optimism and creativity .... help ourselves and in the process help others.

I quote from Steve Jobs:  “Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure.  These things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.  Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose”

Happy New Year and a very good 2012 to you all.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

74 comments:

  1. As you so rightly say "The Times They are a Changing" is so true Hilary. As one looks back on one's childhood and the way our grandchildren are brought up it's a different world altogether, Time changes yet we don't realise when and where it happens but it does.

    Hope you weathered the storms yesterday and is ok.

    Take care.

    Yvonnne.

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  2. Time is a dilemma lol So much to discuss where it pertains to time.Time exists and yet doesn't exist. Time is change and yet time changes nothing.
    Steve jobs said it right.
    Death doesn't care. It just comes and takes you, and you leave everything behind.

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  3. What a thought-provoking post, thank you! Yes, the railways ought to stick to rigid time-keeping but all else is totally fluid!

    Take care
    x

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  4. Hi Hilary - And a very Happy New Year to you, too! You're right, these times contain numerous opportunities. Seize the moment! :)

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  5. You can't beat time - at least, you shouldn't, according to the Mad Hatter;-)

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  6. Lovely post, again. Such a good subject for the start of a new year. I remember learning about railways as the spur for organizing time. Jobs' quote is spot-on, and, of course, Dylan's lyric on the subject is timeless.

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  7. Love your clever gathering of perspectives about time. I can't imagine giving up my cherished old German clock to keep track of the time. Every time we move, it takes me about a month to get it adjusted so that it keeps fairly accurate time. Still, I wouldn't trade it for a dozen atomic clocks:)

    These are exciting times we are living in. Every day is a new adventure. I hope 2012 is a great year for you.

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  8. Most of us are painfully aware of time passing, usually way too fast, especially as we age, but I rarely think about your point of countries disappearing and appearing. Fascinating and true, very intriguing concept to consider. I love Steve Jobs quote at the end. That man sure came up with a whole lot of quotable quotes.

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  9. @ Yvonne .. I agree with your sentiments exactly Yvonne .. we just sort of take time with us - not realising how much it affect us.

    Fortunately the storms stormed but we remained safe - I'm pleased to say .. I presume you did too ..

    @ A Lady's Life - so right .. each second counts; but as you say: time is change and yet time changes nothing.

    @ Old Kitty - thank you .. the railways seem to have set the standard! Well perhaps old John Harrison of Longitude fame got there first ...

    .. and trains should be on time! Anything to do with me is on fluid time .. both sorts!

    @ Betsy - thank you for the HNY .. and yes plenty of opportunities to go grab.

    @ Janice .. I don't think I'd like to try and beat time .. you probably didn't watch the Alice ballet at Christmas .. I really enjoyed it: I was with my mother .. so indulged by watching until I was interrupted and joined the residents and staff.

    @ Susan .. thanks so much. There's so much happening in the world .. and those two quotes seemed to tie things together .. time is priceless.

    Thanks Yvonne, A Lady's Life, Old Kitty, Betsy, Janice and Susan .. Happy New Years to you all .. Hilary

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  10. Hi W2W .. many thanks. Gosh if I had a cherished family clock .. I would carefully transport it and readjust it - so right. Must be lovely to behold .. and I wouldn't trade it either for an atomic clock for all the tea in China!

    Everyday is a new adventure isn't it .. I sure hope 2012 is happy for all of us.

    @ Karen - I agree and totally concur with you sadly!! I couldn't work my stamp countries out .. now I'd find it easier!! Though I've just looked for Tonga and thought is was part of Africa .. unh unh .. it's in the Pacific Ocean .. doh!

    Thanks .. I think, as you say, his words and ideas will be around for a long while .. not mere gadgets - but a peculiar and very distinct merger of science, utility and art.

    Lovely seeing you W2W and KarenG .. enjoy 2012 .. cheers Hilary

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  11. Great quote on Steve Jobs!

    Yes, the times they are a changing.

    > "The second doesn’t relate to any cycle in nature."
    That's got me thinking. I'm really a fan of rhythms and cycles that line up with nature. I think there are interesting ways to leverage our natural bio-rhythms.

    The coolest thing I heard about seconds recently was that sometimes all it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage ... and that's how people can make great things happen.

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  12. Aboard the submarine, we went by Zulu time - the letter "Z" was used for time at the prime meridian, phonetically "Z" is "Zulu."

    Personally, I'd prefer it if we gave up on daylight savings time.

    It was really confusing in Arizona, which doesn't observe it. Our phones automatically update the time based on GPS. In one campground, they kept switching back and forth between mountain daylight time and mountain standard time. It turned out that the state line with Utah was only a few hundred yards from our camper.

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  13. Happy New Year, Hilary. Yes, and its the little changes that seem to mount up and suddenly catch us off-guard. Steve Jobs is right - remembering that our time here is finite is important.

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  14. I'm continually amazed how fast our lives are changing. Today's world is so different from the one I lived in back in the late 40s and early 50s, my childish years. There are old things I miss, but so many new things to explore. I feel blessed in all ways.

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  15. As one who's lived most of her life following schedules ... serving meals at a certain time day after day, putting the children to bed at a certain time, making and keeping a multitude of appointments, doing certain chores with the same frequency week after week after week, etc, etc, there is a LOT to be said for the relative freedom from time constraints my husband and I enjoy as retirees. Now, I plan meals according to our hunger, not the clock, and go to bed when sleepy, and get up when not. I still wear a watch so I'm not "late" for set appointments, but I am no longer ruled by time, GMT or otherwise. Getting old ain't half bad.

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  16. @ JD .. thanks re Steve Jobs and Dylan .. both have much to say that is relevant to us.

    Natural bio rhythms - I look forward to your thoughts on this idea ..

    20 seconds of insane courage - that would make sense ... something to think about ..

    @ Mike - now you've told me something I didn't understand - the Zulu connection - thank you - from your naval days.

    I can imagine all your time zones .. it can get muddling here, except it's been fairly stable for a while now - ie twice a year - clocks forward at the mid/end of March, and back at the end of October.

    Your camping trip must have been a pain! I'd have had a normal watch with me for safety ... interesting ..

    @ Talon - thank you .. you too - were often not ready for change are we ..

    @ Patricia - now you've said it: life is changing so fast. I agree life was simpler back in our childhoods .. but like you I feel blessed I can take advantage of the technological developments of today ..

    Thanks so much JD, Mike, Talon and Patricia .. have great 2012s .. cheers Hilary

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  17. I would like to get a copy of that book. Looks interesting.

    I just know the older I get the faster time goes.
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  18. Wow, what a post. That's so fascinating about the second. I like that things change but just not too fast.

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  19. I forgot to tell you that with all the border changes it is hard for some people to discuss the issue of birth. Where were you born? I really don't know.
    Maybe Poland maybe Ukraine.lol.
    Maybe Russia, maybe Yugoslavia .
    It's the same thing with the old and new calendar When were you born? Christmas. Which Christmas? I don't know. After the war when everything was destroyed, you made your own history. lol

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  20. At Painted Desert National Monument, they had three clocks: Utah time (mountain time), California time (Pacific time), and Arizona time. They also had a sign that said that Arizona was currently the same time as California. Right now, I suspect that their sign says that they are on the same time as Utah.

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  21. Yes, time. Time's a changing. Time's a passing. How beautifully you captured all these thoughts about time. I was so taken up by the idea of Samoa cancelling Friday. I thought how nice it would be to just skip over certain days. We should be allowed one day from our lives to skip and one day to make last longer.

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  22. I heard once that when Dylan wrote his songs/lyrics, as soon as he memorized them, he threw out his handwritten pages. So when any are come across now, they are very rare. I'd imagine that since his songs have withstood the inimitable test of "time," those penned songs on paper must be very valuable.

    Happy New Year Hilary, wishing you peace and wellness in the coming months.

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  23. Hi Hilary,
    Ah yes, there are some rather aggravated folks on Samoa who discovered that their birthday on December 30th had vanished and just like that...they woke up to find they were in December 31st.
    And speaking of time or whatever we use as a convenient measurement within this perceived reality, I offer you this.
    I'm sure you are familiar with the usual stuff that could 'slow down time'. You know, waiting for water to boil, watching grass grow, and one of my big favourites, waiting for paint to dry. Exciting news! I have found another method to 'slow down time'. I propose a toaster. If you stare at the bread in the toaster, it takes an eternity. If you leave the room, your smoke alarm will go off.
    And yes indeed, 'time' depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on.
    Today is only yesterday's tomorrow.
    Have a wonderful 'Leap' New Year. Or, if you like,a 'Hoppy' New Year :)
    My other watch is a digital and that's not a 'wind-up' :)
    Cheers, Gary

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  24. So entertaining, you have such a wealth of fascinating knowledge to share, I enjoy your posts so much. Poor Samoans losing their birthdays..I hope they chose an 'un'birthday' to celebrate on.
    I agree with Mr. Jobs..I have nothing to lose..so I'll go ahead and ask..what does that phrase "looking a gift horse in the mouth' mean?

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  25. The strange nature of time was pointed out to us at University (as part of an anthropolgy course) when we were divided into two groups according to how we described the walk from our department to the library. Some said it was about a quarter mile - others said 10 minutes.

    Good post again, Hilary!

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  26. @ Birdie .. if you do get a copy - let us know your thoughts on it .. it certainly looks fascinating and I'll be adding it to my 'to buy list'. I agree re time passing us by very fast.

    @ Clarissa - thank you - Maria Popova has some amazing posts .. I just love reading her blog. I'm with you on life changing too fast sometimes.

    @ A Lady's Life - I can see not knowing which country you're born in would be 'disturbing' ... I think I'd go with my ancestors roots .. ie where they came from.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment here - some people never know when or where they were born ... not something those of us in this Western world usually worry about - but obviously those aspects of life would be terribly important at some stage.

    Thanks Birdie, Clarissa and A Lady's Life .. interesting thoughts - cheers Hilary

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  27. @ Mike - I'm so pleased you told me about 'Zulu' time .. and now three clocks at the Painted Desert monument .. fascinating place it is too. I'd be so frustrated having three clocks all telling different times! Nightmare .. though no doubt usually two tell the same time.

    @ Melissa - many thanks .. so was I - 'just deciding' to cancel a day so they (the Samoans) could tie in more logically and easily with their trading partners. Your idea of stretching a day .. and losing another would be a great idea - how the rest of us would cope I'm not sure!

    @ Joanne - I guess like we all do .. chuck our old stuff away .. Wikipedia has some notes on this record with this as the title track.

    His works have stood the test of time: you are so right .. I wonder if there are any out there - they'd be in a museum by now, I'd have thought.

    Thanks Mike, Melissa and Joanne .. lovely extra input .. and have a happy peaceful healthy year ahead. Cheers Hilary

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  28. @ Gary .. I wonder how much they celebrate that sort of thing .. but if it happened to me - I'd be put out!

    Yup - had those experiences too - the smoke alarm being the worst! frustrating to say the least for burnt toast - I've lived with burnt toast for many a long year .. !

    Spending a lot of time at a Nursing Home - the bathroom door is pretty important! The right side and then I'd not have a hopping leaping year! Good to see you ..

    @ Scarlett - Summer birthdays too .. or perhaps there's not much change in the weather there. Glad you enjoyed the mix ..

    Looking a gift horse in the mouth: well I learnt something! Apparently when you gave a horse away - as the receiver .. you should not look in the horse's mouth and thus not know its age. Because you would find out if you'd been sold an old nag .. once opening its mouth and inspecting its teeth it's 'quite easy' to tell a horse's age - and so the saying is used in reference to being an ungrateful gift receiver.

    Hope that clear's that up? Unless any horsey people can enlighten us otherwise .. I really needed to learn Mr Jobs' lessons early in life .. not when I'm an old nag!

    @ Anne - that's such an interesting idea ... fascinating! Which group did you end up in? .. and I wonder what I'd say ... probably 10 minutes.

    Thanks Gary, Scarlett and Anne .. well I've learnt some more now .. Cheers and lovely seeing you - Hilary

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  29. hi miss hilary! i just decided im gonna live at the speed of light cause thats where theres no time. :) wow! lots of cool stuff in your post. i always learn lots from you. i hope you and you mom have a real nice new year.
    ...hugs from lenny

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  30. @ Lenny .. you're the one that teaches me loads .. now how do I join you on that place 'the speed of light'? Sounds a great place to be .. will it get rid of wrinkles?!

    Glad you enjoyed the post and info - lovely to know it appeals to you too ...

    Thanks for your wishes for Mum and I - I wish everyone a real nice year ahead ..

    especially you and your family - have fun times .. with lots of hugs from me too ... cheers Hilary

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  31. A thought-provoking post that helps to put everything in perspective.

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  32. You are very clever putting forth so much knowledge. Yeh we learned about St Maarten at school. The sss islands were st maarten, st eustasius and saba and the abc aruba bonaire and curacau The were all Dutch. But that has changed as all changes as you said.
    I like another aspect of time that is the way we experience time. If we are focussed and in the here and now, like when an earthquake happens than time goes very slow. If we doing repetitive things than we live as an automatic pilote and time passes by in high speed

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  33. What an interesting post. How do you find time for all this, I wonder. Thank you so much for your kind greeting on my blog. It really made me happy. And it has taken me this long to really understand that old line from Me and Bobby McGee "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." Happy New Year!

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  34. Imagine, Hilary. We cannot see, taste, hear, smell or feel time, but we certainly have made it our master.

    Wouldn't God be pleased to hold such status and acceptance?

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  35. Hi Hilary! Your post is an inspiration and a motivation. We all keep up to the changes and make something better if we stumbled along the way.

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  36. "4 babies are born, 2 people die every second," is quite an interesting statistic! I'm always glad to spend time reading your amazing posts! Julie

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  37. @ Julia .. I'm glad it helps you - thank you.

    @ Marja .. many thanks I just come across things that tie in .. and 'amuse' me. Glad they do you.

    Your earthquake point .. I wonder if the brain puts things on slow-mo when a disaster is happening, while normality speeds up when we don't have to worry or think too much. Then there's the loss of memory after an accident .. interesting aspects - thank you.

    @ Inger - as I mention above - I find or hear articles that seem to tie and then 'weave' them together. I like your context of "Freedom being just another word for nothing left to lose" ....

    @ Amy - 'life' has conspired to break our daylight and night into component parts ... which as you say we just know - as it is our master. I think God would be above all this .. time is a human concept ... but I'm not well qualified to really comment here!

    @ Mobile Developers - very pleased you enjoyed the post and to read it's inspired and motivated you - thank you.

    @ Julie - That statistic came from Steven Jenkins' book via the Brain Pickings site and I can quite believe it .. makes one think a little? Good to see you.

    Thanks Julia, Marja, Inger, Amy, Mobile Developers and Julie - have a great 2012 and happy times ahead. Cheers Hilary

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  38. Another wonderful thought provoking post, Hilary.

    I felt so sorry for any people on Samoa who had their birthdays cancelled.

    We must all keep Steve Jobs' words in mind. So important.

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  39. This is an amazing post, my friend! So amazing that I have printed it out. The final quote from Steve Jobs: I have been pondering this a lot lately considering I will be 72 in May. There are MANY people who didn't live this long on earth, and when they left they didn't take any material possessions with them. Makes you stop and think what's important in this life - seconds, minutes and hours included! "What are the most important things that I should do today" is the first question on my mind when I wake up each morning. Time. An artificial construct as this so eloquently points out. We all have the same "amount" of "time" each day - to waste or to use wisely and productively. And yes, the Internet is a great resource - when used wisely. Lots of wonderful "things" we have to expand our minds. And then there's also the service we do for others. This last for me is the most important of all!

    Just love your posts. They are awesome!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  40. I love this post so much it gave me chills to read its end, just wonderful.

    I've always been fascinated by time for some reason. I didn't know about the Samoas making that change this year, that's so interesting!

    Absolutely beautiful post, Hilary. Happy 2012 to you!

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  41. @ Shirley .. great to see you and glad you enjoyed the read. I wonder if the Samoans worried .. if it had been me .. I think I'd change my birthday to the Autumn or Spring (permanently - getting my own birthday celebration rather than over the Christmas/New Year time!) - their time frames.

    Yes - I loved those words from Steve Jobs .. he's obviously going to live on for many a long day through his words, ideas etc ..

    @ Ann - good heavens .. you've printed it out - thank you!!

    You're so right .. so many who don't live this long .. I'm not 70+ but the days tick by!

    I'm afraid I still waste some of the day - it's my down time .. but perhaps I'll gird my loins and do a great deal more.

    Again the service to others is the important part and that encompasses the blog world I find too .. I'm branching out to doing more up at the Nursing Centre ..

    However balance is the thing too isn't it - we need to be at peace to be able to lead our lives .. and you in particular need to be as safe as you can with yours .. protecting yourself - for your daughter Jen. The huge and wonderful love you give her ...

    Ann - thank you for that wonderful last sentence .. much appreciated.

    Lovely to see you both Shirley and Ann .. just about finished some necessary things and will be back blogging and catching up tomorrow.

    Have great new years and many thoughts to you both .. cheers Hilary

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  42. Hi Julie .. you snuck in! Great to see you too .. so glad to hear you enjoyed the various aspects.

    Like you I've always been aware of time - but it's only recently the historic aspect of time and the history that's gone by totally fascinates me now.

    Thanks so much .. it was a fun post to write .. cheers and a happy 2012 ahead .. Hilary

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  43. Hi Hilary.

    Happy New Year to you!

    It's funny because I was just over on Mike's blog, reading about that new island that was born in the Red Sea. I do wonder if they will bother to give it a name. I'm always interested in knowing how certain places have been named.

    That painting of Salvador Dali's exploding clock has always been one of my favourites. Love it!

    What I find interesting about time is how some days just seem to feel like a certain day of the week, when they really are not. Like a Wednesday having a Friday feel, for example.

    Thanks for sharing that quote by Steve Jobs. It kind of choked me up!

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  44. Hi Davina .. good to see you .. and enjoy your new home and the year ahead.

    I haven't been over to Mike's blog in the last few days .. so he's posted about the Red Sea island .. the first thing is to see if it stays as an island, or gets washed away .. once it is obviously staying then I'm sure it'll be named .. it's amongst a few others I think.

    I too loved the idea of the exploding clock - so appropriate for the post.

    You're right we look forward to days arriving, holidays coming round .. then then they're over .. time 'can vary' apparently ..

    That Steve Jobs quote makes us sit up and think .. and really summarises all we need to know about our time here ..

    Great to see you - Have an excellent 2012 .. cheers Hilary

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  45. When I was at school I remember having a lot of trouble understanding how nations could change. I believed they had to be set in stone. I thought that the world as it was then was how it had always been and would always be. I soon learnt better but I can still remember the confusion in my mind.

    As for changing the clocks, it's a man-made measurement so they're allowed to play around with it as they want but it mucks up my body clock and that's what I object to.

    Happy New Year to you, Hilary, and to your Mother.

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  46. Hi Ros .. I definitely felt like you describe .. especially with my stamps - when I couldn't find a country.

    I don't remember ever anyone telling me countries changed, boundaries changed etc .. we drew the world and that stayed the same, so everything in it should too .. ?! shouldn't it!!

    Ah .. clocks .. I always rather enjoy that - but I like different! That extra hour of luxury, or that getting out bed earlier and enjoying a longer day ..

    Thanks for your thoughts .. and you and Mr A have a very good year ahead .. cheers Hilary

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  47. Wow what an interesting statistic 4 babies are born, 2 people die ... every second! We forget how much change has already happened in our universe, much of which we probably know very little. Great post.

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  48. It is interesting to see how events, past and present, intertwine and relate. Steve Job's quote is interesting, good food for thought. As always, thanks Hilary! Have a great weekend! :)

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  49. What a terrific blog (and post!) you obviously put a lot of thought and time into each post...some of us should sure learn from that!
    All the best, thanks for stopping in today!
    Ron

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  50. Thanks for posting so many nice thinks about time and the changes it brings.
    I read a post by Klahani about London Zoo counting animals. It was very interesting. My husband had a chance to see it. I did not. Again time was a factor that let him see certain things that I was not able too. He gives a vivid description though. I tell him about your posts and he enjoys them. Thanks and Cheers !

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  51. Hilary: I find this post quite interesting. I am a person who does not believe in time. To me, as I have written in several past blog posts, time is an artificially created concept of man to measure stress. I am, however, a serious believer in becoming one with Nature. I absolutely love this post. Thank you.

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  52. Hi Hilary! Good wishes for 2012 to you too! I get all confused about time - some say everything is happening all at once and there is no time, it's an illusion. All I know for sure is (and it ain't much!) I feel more calm that I don't wear a watch anymore.

    As for geography - eeegads, the new countries, as you say, are pretty hard to keep up with. I think the town my father was born in has changed countries several times - how weird is that? I look at current world maps and feel stupid! Like where did Burma go? It's Myanmar? What????

    I'm sure there is some purpose to all this. Map companies must need a way to keep their business? :)
    Hugs
    Susan

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  53. Love the Steve Job's quote - as I do this post - as I always do with your posts!

    oh!, bind up your words and make a book!

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  54. Hi, Hilary. I enjoy stopping by to see what you have posted. I'm always learning new and interesting things. I hope you and your mom have a wonderful 2012!

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  55. Wonderful post about time. Really enjoyed reading it - and learned quite a bit.

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  56. Thanks for another fascinating post, Hilary. I too find time an interesting subject, and as a New Zealander have been intrigued by Samoa's change of time - and what could be more artificial than daylight saving (which I think you call 'summer time')? My son has just introduced me to the atomic clock, which is the most precise of all.

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  57. @ Madeleine - thanks .. good point about how much has happened which we know very little, if anything, about.

    @ Karen - I love the way things tie in - and Jobs' quotes are always pertinent. Food for thought as you say ...

    @ Ron - many thanks .. I like to 'do different' and write about things I don't know a lot about .. so I learn too.

    Appreciate your comment very much.

    @ Munir - wonderful to hear about your husband enjoying my posts .. and that he can remember visiting London Zoo - Gary's blog is one I must get across to .. so I'll see his counting animals story.

    @ JJ - a man ahead of his time (sorry!) .. interesting aspect that it was invented to measure stress!

    I agree with you that we should all be much more aware of nature, and not live the artificiality of time, though to a point we have to - as present life (jobs, appointments etc) dictate that.

    Thanks Madeleine, Karen, Ron, Munir and JJ .. lovely having you here and thanks for your thoughtful comments - Hilary

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  58. @ Susan .. HNY and a good 2012 to you too. You're so right with your thoughts .. I still need the watch occasionally - but don't count the minutes down and don't get stressed about it all.

    Geography was fine .. but those disappearing countries, colours on the maps etc .. and your Dad being born - where?! Very strange - yet fascinating ... most people haven't got a clue where countries are .. especially the likes of Burma/Myanmar ... as you say.

    We like to label, explain and pictorially represent things - simplifies it for some of us .. me definitely?!

    @ Kat - Jobs' certainly had some great sayings to make us think.

    Kat - incredible thought - many thanks and much appreciated .. I'm going in that direction (slowly!) ...

    @ Susanne - delighted to see you .. and thank you re my Mama and our 2012.

    @ Helen - thank you very much .. so pleased you learnt something.

    @ Juliet - time always fluctuates doesn't it .. especially for those of us with loved ones in different time frames ..

    I have to say I have some empathy for being up with the sun in the summer - seems an awful waste of glorious days .. and love Summer Time as we do call it.

    Interesting to read that NZs have been intrigued by the Samoans 'switching sides' (as such).

    The Atomic Clock will I'm sure come in ..

    Thanks so much Susan, Kat, Susanne, Helen and Juliet .. wonderful to see you and have such interesting comments - Hilary

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  59. There's definitely a lot about time that people don't usually think about!

    Great post.

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  60. Just popping in to say a late Happy New Year, hope everything's ok, best regards to you and your mom. :)
    ~Scarlett

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  61. Time is such a strange beast isn't it Hilary. As ever when I read one of your posts I need to wander off to check something! this time, a book. Have you read "The Book of Time" edited by John Grant? I recall thoroughly enjoying learning about the arbitrariness of it all, and our obsession with a manmade construct.
    Have a good week, cheers

    Sue

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  62. @ Golden Eagle .. well we do tend to rush around don't we .. and time passes us by. Thanks - glad you enjoyed it.

    @ Scarlett .. lovely to see you - and thank you for the NNY .. also for your thoughts for Mum and I .. we're ticking along thankfully!

    @ Sue .. I haven't heard of the "Book of Time" - I'll add it to my TBR list .. or grab it out of the library - which I must start doing for books!

    Thanks GE, Scarlett and Sue - have a wonderful week ahead .. cheers Hilary

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  63. Everyone is invited to reconnect with the heart. Imagine how life is as you no longer recognize separation between people, places or things. Notice how you feel from the moment you recall how to recognize the common threads in everything. The human mind would like you to focus on difference and division. The heart only sees through the lens of unconditional love, acceptance and oneness.

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  64. Times are changing indeed! Happy New Year, Hilary. I've missed your super interesting posts.

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  65. @ Liara .. thank you for reminding us to reconnect with our hearts. Very pertinent for us all in this day and age .. we need to realise we are all one and thus meld as a whole.

    @ Talli .. just glad you had such a lovely holiday home .. it's great to see you around again.

    @ Blonde Duck .. I had to include it .. it just is delightfully good for a laugh - isn't it!

    Thanks Liara, Talli and BD .. good to see you - cheers Hilary

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  66. You are chockfull of interesting info in this post. I'm going to have to put up this comment box early so I can comment as I go.

    2 people die for every 4 people born? It explains our enormous population growth, doesn't it.

    I had no idea there was a correcting of the calendar!

    Excellent Steve Jobs quote. I want to read his biography. Nobody got it for me for Hanukkah, so I'll have to guy it myself!

    Happy New Year to you, too!

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  67. Hi Theresa .. thank you - yes that stat of 2 people dying for every 4 born was a bit of a surprise .. puts the 7.5 billion into perspective vaguely!

    Didn't you know about the Calendar .. ah well - you're now wiser ..

    Sad isn't it when we hope to get books and they don't materialise - at least you can buy yours - and have time to read it on the train.

    Happy New Year - hope you have a great term ahead .. cheers Hilary

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  68. Nice quote from Jobs.
    Time is such an interesting concept. When I'm having a hard time with something I concentrate on how tomorrow, next month... it will all be very different. That particular moment, or time, will be done and I will have moved on, and so it goes.

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  69. Hi Rubye .. thank you .. interesting how you look at the concept .. it is definitely the positive one can put on life for the now.

    I know people who have long term illness with no time frame - find being positive very difficult.

    I find Professor Hawking's approach wonderful .. "don't be disabled in spirit, as well as physically". I can't obviously comment easily .. but it makes sense to be happy, rather than negative while living.

    I can see other things too .. but thanks for your insights ..

    With thoughts - Hilary

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  70. Hi Hilary -

    Your musings have my mind going in many directions this evening. The Steve Jobs' quotation is so true.

    I enjoy puttering around antique shops, and marvel at the number of pictures and family albums I see. All the "stuff" in the store once belonged to someone or was a treasured collectible.

    We will leave it all behind someday. Are we prepared for the most important meeting of all - the one with our Maker?

    Blessings,
    Susan

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  71. Hi Susan .. good to see you .. and to hear that you enjoyed the post - Jobs' quote included.

    Our "stuff" is clutter floating around .. until such time as we leave this earth for our next life - so very true.

    Thank you - Happy New Year .. Hilary

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  72. What a great and inspirational post! Times are changing, that's true. It's so easy to look at the times ahead in despair and fear for what comes next. But it's wonderful to think about how far we've come and how much further we CAN go! I think we live in exciting times. I look forward to the future with hope and joy. thank you for this post!

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  73. Hi April .. it's good to look ahead optimistically - there's no point in living in the pessimistic slow lane - fortunately around the blogland we venture - there are some great bloggers. So like you I look forward to the future with hope and joy ..

    Cheers Hilary

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