I don’t have time.

As ironic as this statement is, because we do in fact have time, it is a notion many of us could likely relate to given how busy our lives are. Why are we so busy? We choose to fill our lives with so many items: work, appointments, sports, hobbies, domestic duties, and so much more.

I have always found the concept of time fascinating. I live with concern for future events and past decisions which I have no control over. I organise time by a clock, a timetable, and a calendar. These are all arbitrary man-made structures providing a sense of security and direction; an illusion of control. The aspects of time I should be focussing on are my heartbeat, the tempo of my breathing, the natural rhythms in the pitter patter of rain, the curious rubato melodies of birds in the trees, and the moments with my loved ones. The time I should be dedicated to is the present moment. Yet, I often indulge in nostalgic lows and highlights in my life and reflect upon why I am where I am today.

In this moment I don’t feel restricted by deadlines, though they are always looming. I think I busy myself as a form of escapism. I love the stillness and tranquillity, especially on a Sunday but I do feel pangs of guilt when I’m not being productive. I have improved my former habit of procrastination and I shall continue to practise this skill.

I think about how we as a species understand time. We tend to think of its linearity. I like the notion of time’s fluidity; endless. A couple of movies I have watched in recent years challenged the linearity of time. Namely, Interstellar and Arrival, both of which I enjoyed watching.

Clock face
Organising time is an illusion

I guess we all perceive and use time subjectively. We each get given the same amount of hours in a day. Some of us fit as much as we can in, some wish they could do more, or less, some just allow time to pass by with no strict sense of direction. Whatever we decide to do, it’s our time we are utilising. It may be time to consider how you use your time. Or if you find yourself thinking ‘I don’t have time for downtime’ then you probably have to hit the pause button on your life, be mindful of where you are and where you would like to be. No clocks. No timelines. Just presence. Surely, in the interest of clarity and sanity, we could make time to pause.

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