When I was a child, I was taught that we had 24 hours in a day and it was important therefore to live life to the fullest. The poor craftsmanship of this naïve thinking started showing as I grew older because I realized that nature does not conform to our finite idea of time. The broken clock which is right twice a day, may be infinitely more important, than our wristwatch that misleads us all day long.
We don’t have 24 hours.
For those of us lucky enough to have wonderful sleeping habits, we are blessed to live in our subconscious mind for up to 8 hours a day, leaving us 16 hours with which to do everything else.
If you work, or run your own business, you lose another 8. This leaves you with a solid 8 hour day with which to be happy and self-determined.
Here in Canada, we live in a beautiful country, and its loveliness stems from the infinite and majestic landscape. We do pay a higher cost for this privilege. Most of us are forced to be in constant motion, and end up clogging up the passageways and super-arteries or the cities, in an effort to get anywhere. That leaves us with perhaps 6 hours.
Six still seems like enough, but we haven’t accounted for those strange two legged creatures, that call upon us, and reach for our hand whenever they can.
These strange and fascinating creatures can be divided into five loosely labeled groups: our enemies, our bosses, our family, our friends, and ourselves.
Take note. These are the five creatures that rob us of our time!
Our enemies. They hate us and some even wish us death. The truth is, they cannot steal our time. We give them permission by engaging them. We waste our time, our energy, our thoughts, and our emotions, to battle those forces, when in fact, most of the time, there is very little reason or time to do so.
Our boss. Since the creation of the internet, she now has an uninterrupted and perpetual access to our life at the touch of a button. If we’re not careful, or tune out, we end up working more and more, simply because we fear the consequences of not doing so.
Our family. They are most wonderful two legged creatures we know, and there are so many reasons why we love them. They too, however, steal our time. They love us, but demand a lot in return. It takes tremendous super human strength to say no to family, and most of the time, since we are so tired from the war we wage with our enemies, we simply lay down, while the big hand, chases the little hand, one minute to the next.
Our friends. Some of our friends put pressure on our time and pull us away from our family. Sometimes, depending on who you are, we don’t even need the pressure, but freely set ourselves free. We run away to the garage or gaming, to book clubs or health clubs, or perhaps to a glass of wine or a six pack of beer, every night. We run towards something that resembles the life we thought we once had, but never really lived. We seem to misremember the past (thank you Roger Clemens).
You. You are the cornerstone of your life, unfortunately, you are also your worst enemy. We often don’t even need our enemies, the boss, our family or friends. We are fully capable of successfully and triumphantly waste time. Some of us even tweet about it or create a great meme that captures the excitement of it all. We escape and wait. We wait like Vladimir and Estragon.
So what, you say?
Think for a moment? How much of the 6 hours a day you have been blessed with is yours?
That is all the time you have, and it takes great courage to discover the meaning of your life, and to live it out. Of course, if you happen to work or do what you love, this quest becomes much easier. It also becomes infinitely easier if you can stop the thieves from having such an easy access to your life.
Ignore your enemies and start working on yourself.
Unless you become self-aware and know where and how you spend your time, resolve yourself to repeat that you’re tired, that people are unreasonable, and that you don’t have enough education. Don’t forget that you hate winter, that you don’t have the right connections, and that you lack money. Repeat over and over how lucky people are and be prepared to complain. Complain a lot. Complain and wait for tomorrow.
Wait for Godot.