Time is Your Choice

Time has been on mind a lot recently. In part, I heard a few different speakers randomly discuss time and their infatuation with understanding it. There were two particular standpoints regarding time that continue to stick with me, from the lectures I heard.

The first was the idea that we should view time in terms of seasons. In organizing the concept of time into a seasonal arrangement, it quickly puts things into perspective. My oldest son is 10 years old. If he decides to go to college, it will most likely be at the age of 18. Just doing some basic math here, we think of that as eight more years left until my baby leaves the nest. That is quite a bit of time, even though it goes by fast. There is a lot that can be done in eight years and a lot that can happen.

However, when you speak of it in seasons, everything changes. Instead of having eight years left with my son at home, what if it was viewed as only eight summers left with my son? Eight summers? Hell, that seems too short, too fast, disappointing, overwhelming, and a bit scary. These feelings are the immediate reaction of people I have shared this sentiment but it shouldn’t be. Rather than seeing it as a mournful moment of realization, it should be empowering to prioritize what really matters. We all know death is certain and can happen at any time, but that is not what I am talking about here.

Rearranging your timeline into seasons seems to highlight how much little time we have to do what we want, spend time with whom we desire, and tune out the bullshit minutia of stressful matters that never actually matter, in terms of both the big and the small picture. You can be frozen by this sentiment or allow it to propel you into intentional motion. This idea of time in seasons has allowed me to stop and cherish each moment with the boys and everyone I come into contact. When busy with work, rather than brushing the kids away when they ask, “Daddy, wanna play with me?” I stop what I am doing and take that time. My work is not going anywhere but my child, my family, my life, and my time are. Yours too! It’s interesting. Not only does it spark my engagement due to the lack of seasons, it increases my patience over all. I want to do all I can with my time, but now, I take my time.

The other interesting and scientific concept I heard was regarding the falsehood of our surface level understanding of time as every day people. We think of, teach, remember, and speak of time in a linear fashion. Specifically, we place our stories and ourselves in the past, present, or future. Yet, based on some ideas of Quantum Physics, and some other far out shit I had to listen to and read multiple times, time is not linear at all. Not only is it not linear, it does not exist in nature. Humans created time to provide order, to arrange schedules, to grow crops, to give a sense of when things began and when they end.

That conceptualization and the adoption of its standardized use does not make it real. If that is the case, then time is made up. If it is made up, that means I can make it what I want. If I can make it what I want, I choose to make it mine. I choose to do with my time as I please. I chose to only allow others, work, events, or alarms to dictate my time as my personal choice. It has given me more strength to say, “No,” to things and people where I do not want to commit my time. It has made “my time” more valuable and precious. For it is mine and no one else can have it or control it.

This is not to suggest to stop going to work on time. But, if you’re going to be there, it should be a place where you enjoy spending time. This is not to suggest skipping out on court dates for a traffic ticket or showing up 20 minutes late to a dinner date with a friend. You can take a book to read while waiting for your ticket to be heard or simply pay the fine online. You could ensure that the dinner date is with someone who you are excited to see, someone you show up 15 minutes early for and refuse the dinner date with the acquaintance whom you care not to be around.

We can control our time. We do not have to be hogtied and dragged through a tortuous and grueling daily schedule. If you find yourself in this position, remember, it is your choice. It is your time. Use it wisely and cherish it, for you will never get it back.