31 March 2011

Time: life's enemy

 THERE are moments in our life that, for one reason or another, stick with us forever and continue to shape our thoughts and actions. One of the most resounding conversations of my lifetime was with a dear friend, over a wine or three, as I was about to head on a round the world trip.

My friend assumed the most exciting part of my upcoming travels was going to be the adventure of experiencing foreign countries, people, customs, and food, making amazing memories and seeing first hand all the monuments or places we see on tv or learn about at school. But she was wrong, and very surprised to hear so. The best part was going to be living without the interference of time. Let me explain.

Think about your day. Think about all the things you need to do and how they always have a deadline. Does the following sound remotely familiar?

Wake up - look at the time, work out how much time you have to eat breakfast and get ready before you have to leave for work. Make a coffee/breakfast, sit down to eat/drink it, check the time, knowing there is a particular time you need to be in the shower to ensure you are ready to leave for work on time.  Finish eating breakfast, check time, decide to have shower. Have shower, check the time. Get dressed, check time knowing you must do your hair/make-up or shave (if male) by a certain to time to ensure you leave home on time to get to work on time. Apply make-up, do hair, check time -  knowing you still need to pack your lunch/work gear/whatever and leave for work as soon as possible to fight traffic and get to work on time. Pack stuff for the day/work, check time - now it's time to leave for work. Check time – with good traffic you will get to work on time. Continuously check time while driving (regardless of whether traffic is good or bad), wondering if you will make it to work on time. Get to work, log on to computer, check time. Wonder if you can sneak in a quick coffee? Decide to try. While making coffee, check time. Get back to desk, check time, it’s time to work.

Did you get sick of reading the word time? I sure as hell got sick of writing it! And herein lies my point - this is what I was looking forward to avoiding when I traveled.

The way I saw it, I was about to jetset around the globe, and there was nothing to hold me back. I would wake-up when I wanted, head to wherever I wanted, enjoy/see/do whatever I wanted, all the while without contemplating "in [x amount of time] I need to be at work/friends/family/gym/class/etc." Sure time would prevent me from going to places after they closed, but no one was going to be telling me where I had to be and when.

The happy part of this story is that even after I ran out of money and started waitressing I never felt like time ruled me. Work wasn’t a chore because every shift I did meant I could experience more. I crammed as much as I could into every day. Sure I was where I needed to be when I needed to be but because of a different outlook on life I felt in control. Time wasn’t going to get the better of me. And time didn’t, for a few years anyway.

The sad part of this story started as I did some archiving over the weekend I came across a card from said friend [above pic] and realised time is destroying my world because I'm too conscious of it. I'm not making the most of my time. I never go with the flow. I'm usually not enjoying every  moment for what it is. I check the time constantly. I'm always thinking about the next thing to do. Wake/Eat/Work/Gym/Walk dog/Eat/Sleep My life would be a perfect BCF ad because when you look at my life day to day, "That ain't livin'."
In that past life, before I traveled the world, the company my friend and I worked for had the motto, "Make the most of now." That's the new plan, from here forward. 

I will accept that there are things that need to be done at certain times, that I have responsibilities I can't ignore, and take solace in the fact that we are all in this together, all fighting with and for time.
When I can, I will ignore time. It won't exist. All that will exist will be the moment I am in. When I can't ignore time, I will look forward to my timeless moments and hopefully these moments will come to fruition and become timeless memories, just like my last drinks with the friend mentioned. That was not only a timeless conversation and moment I will no doubt never forget but the first time I truly lived in ignorance of time.
As another birthday approaches, still un-decided on how to celebrate, there is one thing I have decided on. Any celebrations at my home will involve every clock/watch/time reference will be removed or covered and banned from conversation.  I might be a year older but the celebration will be timeless (in one way or another).
You can’t stop time but you can ignore it.

Does "time" rule your life?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks :) You've also helped remind me of a 'timeless' world that I also wish to live in, which may have been inspired by the same conversation.
    And with saying that, to hell with the uni assignments and hello Inskip for the weekend. Books go anywhere right?