In the end the only thing any of us really has is our time.
We cut time up into chunks, dice it into manageable pieces, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years…
I remember when I was in my teens someone said to me, “The older I get, the longer the days are and the shorter the weeks.” Obviously that’s perception, but isn’t it true?
We have so many pressures on our time. Family, work, relationships, hobbies, chores; the things we must do, the things we should do, the things we’d like to do.
I make lists when I feel overwhelmed with the things I need to accomplish. I have made a lot of lists lately.
Sometimes I’ll find a list I made months ago and it’s usually true that I’ve not accomlished everything on my list.
Sometimes I’ve done more than other times, sometimes most of it is done, but there’s usually at least one or two things nagging at me, waving their hands to remind me they’re not done.
I hate being kept waiting. I hate keeping others waiting. On many levels, it seems to me to be the single most thoughtless thing a person can do.
When you keep someone waiting, you are saying, your time has no value. If my time has no value, and my life is made of time, aren’t you telling me my life has no value? That’s how it always seems.
Sometimes it would probably be good if I could let go of time. I stopped wearing a watch years ago because I thought it would be good for me. I think it has been, but now I keep more clocks around me than I used to, too.
Isn’t it odd how a circle with numbers can rule our lives? We go to bed when the hands are here, we get up when they’re there. We eat when they made this pattern, we go to work, we go home, we learn early to read a clock, to tell time.
I don’t know what we’re trying to tell it, but I don’t think it’s working.
So, I have so many things that I need to do, so many that I ought to do, so many that I would like to do, so many that I’ve put on the back shelf until some fabled day, the day when I will “have time.”
I won’t have any more time than I have now, clearly, I won’t get an extra couple of hours for good behavior. What I mean is that, on that far off day, I won’t have so many other demands on my time.
The list of things I must do will, or so I tell myself, get shorter. The list of things I ought will also grow smaller. The opportunity for things that I do just because I want to will grow, will expand, I’ll have the option to do what I want more often, what I must less often.
Do I really think that will happen?
I don’t know.
We all say it. We say, I’ll have some time once the kids are back in school. Or, once I get through this project. Or once I get through the holidays, or vacation, or whatever artificial goal we set.
By the same token, we make time to do what we want, even in the midst of being busy. I hate someone telling me that they didn’t have time to do something, at least when it’s a small thing. I didn’t have time to drop you a note and let you know that I wasn’t going to be able to make it this weekend.
I didn’t have time to do the thing I said I would do, because I was too busy. I should have called, but I was too busy.
That’s all a lie; if you had time to eat, or sleep, you had time to do a five minute task. You chose not to. I have a friend I keep meaning to call. Unfortunately, when I remember, it’s past her bed time, and she goes to bed very early. Have I not had time? Of course not, I made three calls today that took more time and had arguably no more value than that would, and yet, I didn’t call her.
We get around to doing what we want to do, and blaming it on time is a cop out.
And now I see by the hands on that round dictator with numbers that it’s time for me to go to bed. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have more time…