Time has become such a precious commodity and I often wonder if I apply it in a wrong way. I came to think about it when I was trying to fit more reading time into my schedule. My job requires me to be on top of the national and, best case scenario, also on top of international news, read newspapers and online news. At the same time I should keep myself on top of relevant content matters by reading academic literature on various topics. Besides that I do like reading fiction and novels. In total I maybe get 5% of the above mentioned done and I am wondering why.
I started wondering about time. I am not a busy working mom with three kids and a household. I am not even married yet, no dependents or other duties, besides my job. I have a relationship. I try and live a balanced lifestyle, exercise and eat healthy, hence cooking at home. I enjoy socialising (moderately and not all the time) and at the same time also have some me-time. I spend time with my family (at least over Skype), I intend being outside in nature when I can and I like writing (hence the blog). And I obviously have the normal daily life things to do like doctors, admin, bank etc...that is pretty much it and I would argue that is still less than a working mom has to pack into a week. Why do other people seem to get it all into their schedule?
I debated this topic with a friend of mine and she added another interesting spin to the debate. She mentioned that we tend to say things like ‘I am going to just quickly...’ or ‘tomorrow I am just going to...’. The term ‘just’ does not really work. Everything takes time, and mostly more time then ‘just’ justifies. ‘Just’ doing the grocery shopping, takes at least a minimum of an hour even if you the most focused shopper in the world considering that you have to include driving there, filling the cart, queuing, paying, loading your car, get home and unpack...’ So, many things that we think we can do ‘just quickly’ can actually take up half days.
I also don’t want to end up scheduling my whole life – 15 minutes for this, 1hour there and plan my whole week like an office diary. I like living, being, enjoying. Is it the signs of the times that make us think we have to do all these things? Or are these our own internal pressures? Will it be true that in twenty years, not gold or money will be the most valuable things, but time and nature?
I do not know how many of you know the book Momo by Michael Ende. It is a children’s story also talking about time. In the book grey men come to take over the world. They smoke cigars and those cigars are made out of time/hours of people. So, if you stop caring, socialising and only dedicate your time to work, work, work, you save time and they live it. It is a scary thought, but I often feel there are grey men in my life 'smoking up' my time.
How do you deal with your time?