It is the time of year when clocks go forward in some places, back in others and yet stay the same in yet others. New Zealand’s clocks went forward this week and ours in South Australia go forward next week. (Spring forward/fall back)

I really struggle to grasp time zones. Intellectually I totally get them but emotionally. Nah. And now I have this weird BJD and AJD time too (before/after Jane died). The way I measure time has changed. A song can last for a whole 30 minutes (literally as it gets put on repeat over and over) or a few bars can be unbearable to listen to for any longer.

Time stands still when bad news arrives and then does weird things for months and months. I remember sitting on the floor howling when Mike died. I can only have been 20 or so and he was only a year older than me. We had had a tumultuous relationship built on teenage angst and alienation. His emotional pain leaked out of him and when he found someone who could take it away somehow for a few moments he would hold onto them.

I used to spend Sundays with him. Cooking his family their Sunday lunch with him, whilst they were at church. They were the source of his pain. I didn’t recognise nor speak to them at the funeral. I know they would have been there. It was held at their church.

Time has been stretched and compressed since Jane died. Some days are slow and painful whilst others have moments of joy that pass too quickly to hold onto. I understand why Mike held onto the people he held onto now. Those moments can only build up into meaningful chunks of time if they repeat enough.

I looked at the weeds in my ‘garden’ today and thought about how much time had passed since I last weeded. I hate gardening. I love the idea of it. But not the reality. I had actually weeded though and it was looking good, with all Jane’s jasmine in flower and the aloe vera happily multiplying.

A few months. A few months passed since I weeded. How? What was I doing that I didn’t see the weeds start to grow? They are way bigger than the dog, surely I could have walked over and pulled them out at some stage?

The inertia that sits on my shoulders sometimes is not something I am used to. BJD I don’t think I would have had more than a few days in my life. Now, clearly I can have months of inertia. I know I am busy doing other things, but not 24/7 busy.

I know I have hours of free time because I have been watching hours of tv. I gave back the Foxtel box when I cancelled Jane’s account. I couldn’t watch tv without her for a few months.

Now I watch hours of things she would never have watched. Some of it is so bad I have to turn it off, occasionally it is engaging. I am writing or weaving at the same time. So, I could have walked outside and pulled the weeds out.

Time has always been so important to me, but I think it is less so now. I do not need to be on time to the minute anymore. Because no-one will die if I am a minute late. There are more important things than being on time. Being kind and considerate for one. This may translate as being approximately on time or early. I thought about wearing a watch again for the first time in over a year. Maybe when the clocks change. I am waking up as if they already have changed. Sparkly wide awake at 5:30 or 6, having never woken up at that time unless the alarm was set for then. Usually to get a flight. Now, I just am awake. Wide awake. Ready for the day. Or at least engaged with the day.

Time does not heal. Time plays tricks. Things seem to be getting better then they go back again. Perhaps First People’s cyclical concepts of time are more accurate than the Western linear ideas. Perhaps the soft ebb and flow of time has a fierce undercurrent that can override and overwhelm.

None of us know how much time we have. Whether it is time on earth, time with a particular person or in a particular place. Spend your time wisely to minimise regrets and maximise the good in life. Take the time to show those you love how much you appreciate them. And don’t waste time on those who detract from your life. It’s ok to unfriend people in real life, not just on social media! But before you do, take a few minutes to evaluate the pros and cons. Then move forward.

Arohanui.