Jul 27, 2017

More Time-y Wime-y Stuff

 We watched Arrival with my family shortly after the baby was born.  The premise (SPOILER ALERT) was that after some aliens landed on Earth, Amy Adams (linguist) has to figure out how to communicate with them.  At some point in transcribing their language, she forms a theory that, because they don't read left to right, but absorb all information at once, they're able to travel through time.  The movie has these flashes into the future to indicate that, as she learns their language, Adams also comes "unstuck" in time (which of course we don't figure out until the end of the movie).

To get to the point, I've been thinking about how I feel about time with Orion.  Time isn't quite as slow as it was when he was first born, but it's still moving at a speed I'm comfortable with.  I take time to just hold him as he sleeps or look at him and try to memorize how he looks and how he makes me feel at any given moment.  Every once in a while I remember various points during the past 5 months and it feels like the movie.  Little flashes into a different time that I can see fairly vividly but then I return to the present moment.  I like it, it's like experiencing both times but still living and moving forward in the present.

Though it's entirely pointless, I keep wishing I could do the same with the future.  I don't want to actually travel through time but I wish I could catch little glimpses.  I want to know what he'll look like at 5, or 10, or 15.  I want to see that he turns out ok and all the silly things we're agonizing over now really didn't matter in the end.

Imagining the future has always been a way to reassure myself when I'm struggling.  Because I know I'll get through whatever current issues I'm dealing with and, most likely, it'll all have smoothed out into the greater path my life is taking.  Example: agonizing over spending $500 on a cruise with a friend shortly after being laid off.  Maybe not the best financial decision.  But added to a life of generally responsible decisions, it might have made finances tight for a while but certainly doesn't impact my current situation.

And the same thing with adopting a new dog or struggling with breast feeding.  A lot of emotional turmoil and in the end, it all worked out.  It's somewhere in between fatalistic (whatever will be will be) and laissez faire (let things take their course).  I like this more relaxed attitude, BUT I do still wish I could get the reassurance of glimpsing the future now and again.

I've also been thinking about time travel theories and fate.  I certainly don't believe we have a fate and it will happen no matter what.  But I also don't believe our future is as strongly impacted by the butterfly effect as in certain movies.  I don't think my future will be drastically different if I do or don't breast feed, if I do or don't adopt a 2nd dog, or even if I change my career path.

I think there are a few big crossroads where we could drastically change our personal futures.  I think if I divorced Ryan or decided not to have any children (too late but you get my point) or any other decision that would be a big departure from my current life.  I don't feel like a 2nd child is a big crossroads because we're already doing all the parent things, and I feel like regardless of my career, I'll be here with this family in this location so all that would change is the way I keep myself busy.

So maybe my definition of a "crossroads" is a thing that ultimately changes my identity?  Definitely things that change my location.  For whatever reason I feel like any iteration of business owner/employee/part time worker/housewife that happens in this same house with this same family isn't a really big change.

Anyway, I'm rambling and I'm interested to hear how other people think of time.


Do you wish you could see the future or are you happier not knowing?  Do you believe in fat, the butterfly effect, or somewhere in between?

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  1. Sometimes I want a glimpse into the future, sometimes I dont. Its weird for me because while I want to see the good I dont want to see the bad. I do get what you mean about looking back and feeling both past and present. Thats a real thing and happens commonly when I think back to when my sis was alive.

    PS I have to look at that movie.

  2. I would so not want to look forward. My mind wouldn't stop trying to figure out how I get to wherever I was in the glimpse or what I was doing and worry about making it happen. Much better for me to just look back and go "Eh I made it through X, I will make it through Y & Z somehow too." :)

    I believe in fate, to a certain degree...but it's kind of tied up with my faith too so it's hard to explain.

  3. You posts always make me think deeply about things. (I mean, I've thought about this stuff before but I'm not currently thinking about it.) So many time when I get to the end of a tough phase of life I think to myself, 'If I'd have just known this would've been the outcome and everything would've been ok, I'd have relaxed more and not taken everything so hard.' But then again, would I have behaved differently or not fought as hard or half-assed things if I'd known the end result?

  4. I USED to want to see glimpses of the future, like 10 years ago, but I don't anymore. I'd rather not know. Then again, I don't worry or stress over too much as it is, I kind of just figure things will work out how they're supposed to and I've been pretty good with that. I believe in fate and The Butterfly Effect, to a certain degree- not entirely. I also feel like I've learned a lot from experiences that went awry, and I would've tried to change the course had I know beforehand how they were going to end. That (the premeditated thinking) would stress me out much more than just living through it.


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