What is a New York minute?

A New York minute is an interesting term. A New York minute is a fast, frantic, in-year-face, speedy and harried measure of time. It is the opposite of the stereotypical Southern minute where time is slow and unhurried. Years ago, if you had been to Alabama and New York, you would have seen the difference in time immediately. Of course, today everyplace is changing and (I fear) there has been an exorable move towards the NY standard. I am from New York and despite having lived in the Midwest for over thirty years; I still get accused of being on New York time. Probably because I do almost everything fast and have been multi-tasking before the word was coined. In my own mind, I have slowed down considerably from when I was an “East Coaster” and I enjoy the Midwest because things (at least when I first arrived) seemed slower and mellower out here. Perhaps, it has to do with the farm cycle versus the industrial cycle.

It is interesting that we allow time zones to measure our time but we don’t use “specific place” zones, except in slang. For instance, how would a Minneapolis minute compare to a San Francisco minute or a New England minute? Today, they might all be about the same. Thus, the term a NY minute is slowly passing out of use as we all become mini New Yorkers. However, there are still places in the world that are not on NY time and perhaps you will get to visit one someday. Even in parts of the US, there are places where the culture is not vested in moving fast. One can take a trip to the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota or up Lake Chelan in Washington to Holden Village. At these places, the emphasis is not on how many things you can get done or how much you can accomplish in 24 hours. There is a totally different emphasis.
In the Boundary Waters, you smell the flowers and you live according to paddle time or fishing time. At Holden Village, the emphasis is on spirituality and finding your true center of being. At both places, you forget time and you begin to live by the more ancient cycles of the sun, moon and stars. I have been to both of these places and I want to go back someday. The peace and serenity you find at each is truly beyond description.

Have you ever been to New York? Where would you like to go that is not on NY time? How do you expect time would be for you there? What if time was like that for you right here and now? What if in your own residence, you could set your own time standards? What would they be? Would you slow your life down or speed it up? What do you think a good measure of a life well lived would be?

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