Young@Heart: There’s No Such Thing As Time

If you didn’t have any appointments on a particular day, could you spend the entire day not knowing what time it is? As human beings most people live their lives as slaves to time, but we SHEs (Sidetracked Home Executives) are blessed by being able move through our days pretty much oblivious to it. That’s because we have no concern for time when we are enjoying our ability to get in the zone and stay there until we’re jolted out.

We’re sort of like animals, birds and bugs. For them life has no time. A bear doesn’t wake up with the sun and call it morning and she doesn’t think about all she has to do and wonder if she’ll have time to do it before the sun goes down. She just lives each day.

Humans are the only ones that watch the clock from morning till night, reducing their lives to mathematical fragments. Time itself is an invention of ours. Yet few feel, as they run in the rat race, that they have time for anything to be really fulfilling.

Science has been teaching us that because we are self-aware, time is the concept by which we can define and gauge ourselves. Yet time doesn’t actually exist. It’s only a concept we made up to keep on the same page with each other. Animals don’t have to use this phantom concept to be on the same page with other animals, as they manage that naturally. Ducks don’t have flight schedules, but they do have flight plans directed by a mysterious intelligence that is timeless.

But for many, life has gotten to the point where they are governed by this invented concept. Take the watch on your wrist, the clock on the wall, or the numbers on your cellphone; they are merely reporters of that made up concept.

Even by their own definitions, they are timeless. The clock itself is unmoving on the wall. The watch is unmoving, unless you move your arm around. The numbers on your cellphone are just numbers that have no destination. They are only set to measure the endless movement of the sun and our planet.

At work, most people are measured daily by how much time they put in, when the coffee break happens, how long they have for lunch; and finally the addictive clockwatching enables them to at last call it a day. Something is wrong with this.  That role of time serves to limit us and make us anxious and worried.

On the other hand, we SHEs are more prone to focus our attention on the task we’re on and we can get lost in it instead of considering how long it’ll take. Measurement of time actually stunts people, if they are constantly trying to squeeze some feeling out of whatever minutes or hours they perceive as theirs. The workplace (which could also be your home if that’s where you work) can be a place of creativity where fulfillment on many levers is possible. If the task itself is dull, like vacuuming or making beds, we can figure out ways to make it fun so we can get it done and move on to something we really love doing.

In our society, most people tend to work according to the hours they put in, rather than the depth to which they experience pride or joy in what they’re doing, or the degree to which they’re having fun with the people in their workplace. It’d be good if our values included simple respect for work well done, engendering self-respect no matter what the job.

Be grateful you’re a SHE. Losing track of something that isn’t real, almost assures you of a very rich and interesting life.

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