Time eludes us. As a mom who works full time and has a new book being released, “Where do you find the time?” is a phrase I hear quite often. Extra time certainly isn’t stashed away in my overrun closets (not spending much time there).
Everyone has the same 24 hours and life won’t allow me to bank what I don’t use from one day to the next. Imagine being able to negotiate time. Tomorrow is really busy so I’ll take an hour from today and tack it on to tomorrow. What would that extra hour be for? Would I continue the business or would that hour be chosen to meditate or spend time with a loved one? Some cultures view time as cyclical, not something you run out of. How would that feel? Would the “slow movement” then seem more possible? I would be reallocating the time allotments in my life and focusing on what is most important: my family and my health.
I think my notion of time started to change when a friend showed me an animated video by Dr. Mike Evans about exercise. There are great benefits to getting 30 minutes of daily exercise and his message left me feeling that surely I can take 30 minutes out of each day to do some form of exercise. Surely I can get everything else done that needs to be done in the 23.5 hours that remain. Surely! I even have this great bike to help me.
I get that time is often not our own. We have jobs and kids and spouses (and a whole slew of other people and responsibilities) that all have demands on us. But as much as time remains constant it is also fluid. Ten minutes is ten minutes no matter what you’re doing, but time feels very different. It can appear to pass slowly when you’re waiting intently and quickly when you’re having fun. And when we sleep we’re unaware of the passage of time.
So… what is time? Is it an excuse? Sorry, I never have enough time. Or maybe it is a measuring stick. I can’t believe those first 4 years have gone by so quickly. Do we feel like we have an abundance of time so we take it for granted, especially in our youth? Is it something we’re all running out of, like an inverted hourglass? Is time a desperate plea? If only I had one more hour with him/her. If someone dies we pay our respects, we give them the gift of our time. We make time for the dead when we need to make time for the living.
I was recently introduced to the concept of a “time journal” that has the same goal as a “food journal”: to track how you spend your time so that you can make more informed choices. So, this leads me back to my original question, “Where do people find the time?” It would seem that it’s all a matter of how we choose to spend our time. John Maxwell likens it to currency. Every one of us has the same amount of time in the day. It is how we choose to spend that ever so important coinage.
To some, it may seem odd to take the time to contemplate time. But it is about being aware. Present. So choose your time wisely. It defines who you are. Beyond the necessities of my job I plan to eat healthy, exercise, spend time with my family, read, and write. They sound like great ways to spend my time. How about you? What are your plans?