Below is the opening to an essay I have been thinking about recently. It’s about time and how we waste time. I don’t know where this essay will go but for sure it will go into the great deaktop folder of my weird thoughts.
“Once in a lifetime, twice in one day.” Is a line in a song by Talking Heads. It doesn’t make a lot of sense when looked at in isolation until you do something really dull and read the entire lyrics of the song. The song is about time.
Time is free. We are born with a seemingly endless passage of time in front of us and usually with no idea what to do with it.
Time is a gift that we ignore more often than not. As with everything that is free, we squander it as it costs nothing. That is the mistake most people make with time. Sometimes we have all the time in the world to do a thing and with that we waste the time in front of us until the eleventh hour when that time has evaporated and the reality of squandering time is biting us in the arse. It doesn’t matter what it is, it can be an assignment, a relationship, or anything else. Most of us waste the gift we are given in the belief that we have all the time in the world.
It is with the benefit of hindsight, mostly from the perspective of age, that sometimes we realise that time has passed us by, and we are left with the regrets of having wasted the time given to us to achieve our dreams or ambitions. In that, time has given us the gift of being able to look back and finally see the immense value of time and how it has been squandered.
How often have you heard someone say that if they had their time over they would do things differently? I know this as I now have the time to reflect on all the time I have wasted during the course of my life. From when I was young, and time passed slowly in the arrogance of youth, and when time accelerated as it passed and I grew older, time has flown by and it mostly went unnoticed. I now approach my end of time, and with that time has now become the most precious thing in my life. It is only when someone, usually a doctor tells you how much time you might have left that you understand the importance of time.
I write now, as that is one of the few things left to me that I can do with any commitment due simply to the life I have led and the price I have paid for living that life. I’m not going to be rich or famous, I’m not going to do great things, I’m definitely not going to get more time to “suddenly” do something. All that is left is a finite amount of time in which to do something with the resources at hand. One of the prices I have paid is my health and that now limits what I can do … so I write my thoughts down. I know that it the grand scheme of things it will probably count for nothing and be largely unread and unknown, but the simple act of writing my thoughts is the legacy I leave behind.
The question you should ponder upon is what do you want to do with the gift of time that you have been given.