The year is 2000, and I am in primary school. Every time we opened a new school term, I would see my friends and classmates with new watches. I felt out of place because I was the only one without a watch on my wrist. I had to keep checking the clock on the wall, how boring it was for my age! Every week on the assembly we are told to be good time managers. ‘Time does not wait for anyone’, so the teachers keep saying.
In addition to having a clock and watches, we have a bell, and it is assigned to that one disciplined boy who keeps a watch on his wrist even when he goes to shower. They made sure to ring the bell at the exact time that we were to change from one program to the next. I was always grateful that they were never late to ring the lunch break bell.
Fast forward to high school, at least we have an electric bell, but it only rings three times. Early in the morning when it is time to wake up, at games time, and at the end of preps session in the evening. Most times in the morning, we were forced to wake up by the prefects, or the teachers on duty.
In life, we have almost everything ending, or beginning with the word time. ‘It is lunchtime’, means that you take a break from your duties, and probably eat something. ‘It is time for bed,’ would mean that you take a break again, a longer break so that you can sleep.
Every activity is tied to time, even rest. Whenever we want to have a rest, we look at the time, and decide how long we want the break to take. So, in a way, you already plan what you want to do after the break. The only time that you are not conscious of time, per see, is when you are sleeping. Immediately you wake up, the most probable thing that your eyes fall on first is the watch, the clock, or the phone. You always want to know how much time you have for the next activity.
Attaching a sense of time to everything that we do affects the enjoyment of the experience. If you keep thinking about how much time you have for a particular experience, then you might not achieve the desired goal, which is, enjoyment of course. You are never conscious of anything else other than how long the activity is going to take. Whenever your mind is not fully invested in that activity, you are not going to concentrate as you should. Here is the trick though, you could look at the time just before you begin the exercise, and not during the exercise. For example, you could say that you want to meditate for thirty minutes, then you set the alarm, or you just trust that you will take that amount of time, and don’t set the alarm at all.
If you are sitting down to have a meal, then you could just look at the clock before you begin. Immediately you begin eating, just keep your attention to the food, this should work for any other practice, or ritual, because everything is a ritual, really. You would be amazed, just how much you could achieve, without having to think about how much time you have, every second that passes by.
I say, do whatever it is you are doing until you lose yourself in it. Of course, it has to be what you love. Otherwise, you would be suffering, doing what does not please you. Or rather, think that time is working for you, other than against you. Whenever you plan to do something, dedicate enough time to it. Bury yourself in it until you feel the satisfaction of it.
Some of us hurry through life as if we are living on borrowed time. You live life like a zombie, and can barely explain what it is you are doing, and why you are even doing it, why? Because you want to beat Time?
Time is not the enemy, let time be. You, my friend, are the one who needs to work on yourself. How much attention do you give to whatever you are doing? Time is always going to tick. Shift your attention from it, and quit chasing smoke. You cannot catch it. Namaste.