This post is dedicated to my friend and former colleague, Christina Cheang.
I was in a fancy Chinese restaurant in the Lion City, sitting across from Christina C., a dynamo of a woman and the new Singapore leader of our international public relations agency. We were deep in conversation as the waiter filled our cups with Puér tea and served us plates of steamed sea bass and herbal black chicken.
I was wrapping up a two-week business trip. My life in San Francisco seemed so far away. Well, literally 8,500 miles away. Yet my mind was a whirlwind of thoughts, twirling about everything I needed to do before I left, and everything that awaited me when I return.
“How am I going to find the time to do everything?” I said as I wolfed down the sea bass and emptied the tea cup. “Within the next week, I’ll be making five presentations. Two here, and three back in San Francisco.”
Christina looked at me through her stern, maternal eyes.
“Slow down, Sharon. Don’t you know that time is elastic?”
“Time is elastic? What do you mean?” I rested my chopsticks, momentarily.
“Well, you and I think that we only have 24 hours a day. But have you ever been so engrossed in something that you lose track of time?”
“Well, yes.” My eyebrows arched higher as I leaned toward her.
“Have you ever felt like hours have passed, when in fact, it had only been minutes?”
“You see, when you are inspired to act on something, you will always find the time and energy to dive into what you’re meant to do. And when you get ‘in the flow,’ time becomes elastic.”
Inspired, I returned to my hotel room that night and whipped together a powerpoint presentation in under an hour, pleasantly surprising myself. I experienced first hand the meaning of “time is elastic.”
Christina C. taught me an invaluable concept, and I have often reflected on those three simple words since our memorable dinner almost two years ago.
Then, suddenly, the three words, “time is elastic” popped to mind. I started thinking about his lasting impact on music, and on the millions of people around the world.
The “King of Pop” may have passed on, but his music will live on in our hearts and minds for a long, long time. Michael Jackson has forever outlived his 50 years and succeeded in stretching time to its maximum elasticity.
I could almost see Christina’s smile as I pen this today.
“Great, you get it now. Time is elastic, grasshopper.”