We can’t manipulate it, freeze it or slow it down. We can’t skip it, not literally; we can’t hit fast forward to get through the bad parts or get to the good stuff. It is constant. Yet we can’t predict, in these identical seconds, minutes, hours or days what will happen with every tick of the clock.
Time is my worst enemy. Sometimes I feel like I have too much; sometimes, not nearly enough. It’s completely different now that I work full-time (not that I’m ungrateful to have a job, having graduated with an English degree and all). I don’t have homework, but when I do finally come home at six after leaving at seven in the morning … nothing else usually gets done. Which leads to worry and sleeplessness … which is awful time wasted. Really.
In college, we’re supposed to master time management. Apparently. Yet my senior year, I was still up until three finishing a research paper the day it was due … once, only once, I swear. Now I have my own side projects outside of work, which is obviously self-inflicted, but seriously, where do grown-ups get all their ‘extra’ time from? I fall asleep on the train, both ways. If I drink any more coffee, I’m going to give myself permanent tachycardia at 22. Not on my bucket list. Anywhere.
You could argue that I don’t need to write a book, or read “Game of Thrones” or apply to graduate school (even though I can’t afford it). I don’t need to write a weekly blog post for all 2.5 of you to read, or vlog back-and-forth with my now long-distance best friend. Yet I want to do all of these things.
If we’re going to enjoy the time we do have – whether we feel like we have a lot of it or not so much – it can’t always be about what we need to do.
We need food, and social interaction, sleep (sigh) and a place to call home. Life is full of necessities. But what about the extra things – things we often don’t think that much about – like the shows we watch on Netflix (cough cough “Friends”) or the ‘just for fun’ books we read on the weekends? I could go the rest of my life never having made it through one of the GoT books. But I want to read them. It’s my time to relax. To do what I want.
Weekends are hard, now. I look forward to them all week, especially my weekly Starbucks reward. Then Sunday night comes, and I realize I haven’t had time to finish everything on my list. That’s when I wrestle with the time I feel I’ve wasted, the time I spent sleeping, thinking, eating, breathing, hoping, dreaming, wondering. Where’s the ‘doing’?
Time is so easy to lose track of. We get lost in reading a book, or maybe writing one of our own. We get caught up in conversations, in daydreams, in the scenery that passes by our window. There’s a lot we can’t do with time. One thing we can do? Make the most of it.
I spend a little time every day reading, and writing, sleeping and working toward my goals. Day to day, it never feels like I’m accomplishing anything, and for me, that’s frustrating. I am a control freak; I have always, and will probably always have, issues with that. But looking at the big picture, glancing back at all I’ve done, all that time seems worth it. I’ve written most of one book, been brave enough to start over, and have loved every moment of crafting this new version. I have survived over a month of real work, and have almost read seven books since this year started. So I’m moving forward. Slowly.
Time. It’s not infinite on an individual level. But it is, for every moment we do live, ours. What we do with it? That’s our choice.
I choose to face time. I don’t know where it will take me, but it will never push me backward. And that’s, almost, perfect.