Where does the time go when it’s not around here?
Ever feel like you are always chasing time? Like no matter what you do, there is seldom enough or it runs out or expires or what-have-you?
Of course, it doesn’t help that time is completely and totally subjective. The great scientist Albert Einstein famously said, “Time is an illusion.” Douglas Adams even expanded upon that in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
My point is, time is how we perceive it. If we think we have enough time, not enough time, or too much time, that is exactly what we will get.
I mentioned in a previous post that I am working with making better use of the time I am awake. I am working on dividing my time really in four places, between work, writing/editing, exercise, and social and antisocial interactions.
The most fixed aspect of this is work. I have 8.5 hours of my day, right in the middle, which are applied to my job Monday-Friday. That’s as straightforward as it gets.
Granted, there is also occasional work for my old job, but that is less frequent and unpredictable. I don’t feel much need to include time used for it here.
If, as I postulated before, I am awake approximately 18 hours a day…I have between 8 and 9 hours in which to write/edit, exercise and be social/antisocial.
Within all of this is incidental time. Driving from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’. Taking a shower or otherwise using the bathroom. Eating a meal or a snack. I would hazard a guess that this will in-and-of-itself eat up one to three hours in any given day. This lessens my non-work time from 8-9 hours down to as little as 5 hours.
This means I have from 5-8 hours a day for the other things, apart from work and incidental time, I want to do. You are in all probability in the same boat, though your division of time will be unique to you and your interests.
Is it any wonder we find ourselves chasing time? We can break it down into these bits and pieces, we can focus on having it versus not having it, and it can seem really really overwhelming. If time is but an illusion, why does it seem so damned real?
This is a new concept I want to work on. Time. I don’t want to be the victim of time. Just like any illusionary or imaginary thing, this is something that should have little to no real bearing on my life.
What am I doing about it? That’s the question. What can I do with this?
First, I am going to work to not discuss matters of time on a day to day basis. Just like anything in regards to conscious creation, what you focus on is what you get. If I think about, talk about and explore issues with time and my life, chances are I will continue to have problems finding and making the time I need for things. This particular essay is an examination of the issue, so as such is not contributory to the problem.
Second, I am going to remain conscious of time – because there are places we have to be and times we have to be there – but I am not going to obsess about it. I used to run at least 10 minutes late, standard. When I stopped stressing about this, I ran on time far more frequently. The thing is, time cannot be ignored, but respecting it is different from obsessing about it.
Third, I am going to work more on simply being in the present. It is far too easy to think back on old happenings or to give thought to coming attractions. Our society loves the paradox of nostalgia for the past and planning for the future but gives very little thought to simply being in the here-and-now. We are always being told to look back or look ahead, but ignore right here, right now.
Lao Tzu is credited with saying, “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” I am finding that this is completely true. So it is my goal to work to live in the here-and-now, in the present, and stop being so concerned with the outcomes of actions from the past and what is going to happen in the future.
I know so many people who deal with depression and anxiety. I do as well. I think our perception of time has quite the effect on this. As such, I am striving now to work with that, instead of against it, to find and create a better world I want for myself. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
Thank you for crossing the bridges between my worlds with me!
This is the fourth entry of my personal journey, the Crossing the Bridges series. My collectively published writing can be found here.