It’s That Time Again.

Have you noticed the obsession that we all have with time. It is something that we never have enough of, especially at particularly busy times like Christmas. How often have you heard others, or even said yourself, things like – “If only I had more time.” or “I just don’t know where the time goes.” or ‘I wish that there were more days in the week.” Time worries many people, or more accurately, the shortage of time worries many people. It must have been much easier in the days before clocks when time was measured more by where the sun was and how you felt. When it got light you got up, when it went dark you went to bed. If you were hungry you ate. Nowadays all those simple measures have gone out of the window.

Now you eat when you can, when you can find the ‘time’ to grab a bite, irrespective of what messages you might be getting from your stomach. You get up, not when it goes light or when you have had enough sleep, but early to try to squeeze more ‘time’ into an already busy day. Time for sleep is when you have either finished that last piece of work or when you just collapse through exhaustion. We now lead such busy lives that many of us have forgotten that time, as we measure it today, is finite. Whether we like it or not there are only & will ever only be 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day. When consultants talk about having seemingly magical formulas to ‘save you time’ what do they mean? It’s almost as if there is a concept out there of saving and banking certain blocks of time that you can cash in when life gets a bit hectic. In effect what we are doing is abusing the time that we have. Instead of being realistic about what can and cannot be done over any specific period we find ourselves under pressure to do the impossible. Consequently people are trying to work faster, get more done in less time. Though more does not always mean better. And, of course, people are using time which was meant to be for important things like sleeping, resting and eating to get more ‘work’ done.

I was in a clock shop the other day. A small, family run shop. It was full of clocks of every size and shape and there must have been over 100 of them. What amazed me was that every clock in that shop appeared to be set at a different time. Consequently those that chimed appeared to be doing it at any time and all the time. It struck me as I stood there that it was like being stuck in some sort of time warp. It was only by looking at my own watch could I tell the ‘real’ time. If I had allowed myself to stay in that shop for any length of time all those clock would have become useless. I would have no way of knowing which one was telling the correct time. I would have had to go back to my natural resources and when it went dark I would have known it was time to sleep and when I felt hungry then it would have been time to eat. The chimes of the clocks then would just have become background noise instead of a single telling me that I had just lost another hour.

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