Coming back from working in Africa for a month I’ve been thinking about time a lot.
Time flowed thicker there. I was swept up in its meandering current. I delighted in its unpredictability.
Slipping back into the stream at home in Canada I observe myself getting annoyed if someone takes a few extra seconds to start driving when the traffic light turns green. I go to bed with my to do list near my bed and it’s one of the first things I look at when I get up.
The juxtaposition of how I frame my time in Africa and in Canada was made more so when I pulled out an unread article I’d clipped during a collage and journaling course I took some time ago.
While I was clipping pictures to make a collage I’d across an Utne Reader magazine issue that had several article on time.
Ironically I hadn’t made time to read it.
When I curled up in front of the fire recently and finally read it, the articles spoke volumes.
“From the minute we rise in the morning, most of us have our day charted out. The only surprise is if we actually get everything done,” says author Jay Walljasper, in the article called Our Schedules, Our Selves: Are you more important than your appointment book?
It’s not like we don’t have a reasonable excuse. “Just like hungry diners gathering around a bountiful smorgasbord, it’s hard not to pile too many activities on our plates.” “Our free hours get just as programmed as our work days.”
“We’ve booked ourselves so full of prescheduled activities that there’s no time left for those magic, spontaneous moments that make us feel most alive. We seldom stop to think of all the experiences we are eliminating form our lives when we load up our appointment book.”
Jay goes on to say how we think about time can make a big difference in our lives. As with most everything else, perspective is everything.
By the way, the article was written in 2003. I’m trying to think more about how fortuitous that the article found me and not that we continue as a culture to have these time issues some 6 years down the road.
More about the other Utne time articles in the next blog post.
Until then how can you say no to the smorgasbord?