How quickly do priorities change?
Hold your breath. Look at a clock. How long do you think it will be before your next breath takes absolute priority? Five minutes? Three?
How long does a heart attack take? Again, a few minutes.
How long does it take for a carcrash to happen? Probably not even ten seconds.
This is not an exercise in morbid thought, this is about priority & perspective. One can have priorities, tasks, long plans and expectations, only for them to be snatched away and dissolved by an event so sudden and jarring that your priorities are measured in breaths and seconds, not paychecks and resumes.
Time dilates. Whether this is true objectively is not my concern. We’ve all felt it. A situation where time slows down, everything becomes so vivid and immediate it’s almost surreal. Priorities become so instantaneous that it drives out all thought and speculation. It can be useful to think of these moments.
I find that, in times of mundanity and repetition, this mental posture can wake me up out of the droning miasma of expectant thinking.
“This shift is going to end and then I’m going to…”
“My laundry will be done at two pm and then there will be…”
“In five days I’m going to have a day off so I will do…”
This chattering is light-years beyond the practical materialism of checklists, people. You cease to live within life and you begin to live in your mind. In sleep. So perhaps thoughts about catastrophe have their place; if it gets you to really be alive.