My idea of time is shifting. We seem to believe we have no time any more – that time is getting away from us, that the speed of modern living means that we are constantly searching for time. It seems that we have to ‘make’ time for things, that we have to schedule things. That time is a forever moving thing that waits for no-one.
Time now is all about how much we can do in one day. A huge rolling list of things to do, that often never gets done, and is replaced by more things to do the next day. These to-do lists are of our own making – I always have a list, and it never all completely gets done. So it begs the question: do we really need to get all those things done? If they don’t add anything important or essential to our lives, why do we have to have a huge list that makes you feel inadequate if you don’t tick everything off?
My life at the moment is about what I choose to give my time to. I try not to think of it as spending time, as if time is a commodity that we don’t have enough of. We give time to things that matter, that mean something to us. Having a to-do list is useful if there are things that I don’t want to forget about, like payments or things that keep life ticking along. I know that many people really do need to-do lists and that their lives are lived on a schedule, but how about giving time to spaces within a day when you don’t use that list? Giving time. Seeing how expansive it is when you choose to either not do anything and pay attention to your own breathing, or when you find a way of getting into the flow of something (writing, reading, meditation, just sitting and having a cup of tea in the morning sunlight).
Give time to just being. Just sitting or standing and listening to your thoughts. Daydreaming. I’ve had momentary panics when I think I should be doing something else with my time, but sometimes, these are the moments that centre us and give you energy; when you savour the moments of not doing. I’ve stopped feeling as if it is lazy to indulge in doing nothing – but I’ve come to realise that the things you do give your time to become even more wonderful when you have time to stop and appreciate them. It makes me ever more grateful for the small things in life. Perhaps the reason stress is so prevalent is because we are on autopilot – things have to be done, now. I’d rather not use time in that way. Otherwise time will use you – not the other way around.
‘Practice giving. Give time to what you value. Give up a little control. Work and play from a position of abundance, from an attitude of leisure.’ – Laurie Helgoe.