Can We Ever Have Enough Time?

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately. Mostly because I don’t seem to have enough of it to do all the things that I want to do.  Many people I know say the same thing.  Who needs sleep anyway?

Time04
I don’t get up this early everyday…

I lie.  I’d love to be a golden-eyed Twilight Saga vampire who doesn’t need any sleep.  Ha!  If it weren’t for the blood-sucking tendencies, being a vampire would solve my issues with time. Wouldn’t it?

But what is time, anyway?

At some point in human history, we stopped looking at the sun to tell us when to wake up and when to go to bed. Then we measured the way the planet traveled around the sun to create the units of measure Earthlings call days, hours, minutes, and seconds. Then we devised these arbitrary sets of measurements to schedule our lives and count our years.

Time02Maybe “subjective” is a better word.  It’s not any different than any other forms of measurement. Sure, the mathematics and logic work, but so does the imperial units (aka US customary units), which were based on the size of a person’s foot.  However, there was very little standardization for what a foot meant from one time period and country to another for centuries.

Back to time…

So I know what time it is in my middle grade WIP...
So I know what time it is in my middle grade WIP…

Whatever we call the day, we can’t change the length.  We could have had 48 thingamajigs hours each divided by 30 whatchmacallits minutes divided by 120 doohickies seconds, but we’d still have the same amount of time that elapses as our planet travels around for a day and a night. Could you imagine trying to remember 48 different time zones?

I suppose someone could lasso an asteroid to interfere with our orbit and then change the amount of time it takes us to revolve around the sun.  But only as long it gives us more time.

What?  A girl can dream.

Don’t you wish somedays that the planet did take a little bit longer to make a day?

But…

  • If the day were longer, would our To Do Lists be longer, too?
  • Would we ever feel that we have enough of that thing we call time?
  • Wouldn’t it be better to relax into the day with a flexible but prioritized list and do what is right for the moment? KM Huber said it wonderfully on her blog:  To be present with the present.

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Let the day unfold and see that we have all the time that we need at that moment to do what we need to get done, even if that means reading a book or doing laundry or working the day job or washing windows.

I’m kidding about that last one.

Ooops! How did that time waster get in here? *hides phone*
Ooops! How did that time waster get in here?
*hides phone*

While being a wife, mother, and volunteer, I can and will do justice to my day job and finish writing one novel while completing the edits on another. I have all the time I’m going to get, so I better use it wisely.

Look for more time-related posts on Mermaids Don’t Do Windows.  Don’t worry it won’t all be about time management, learning to tell time, and calendars.  I’ll throw in time travel and parallel worlds just for fun.

I’d love to hear from you!

How do you fill your day?  Do you feel as if you need or want more time?  How would you have divided up the day’s units of measure and what would you call them?

28 comments on… “Can We Ever Have Enough Time?”

  1. Thanks for the shout out, Diana! Just this past weekend, I was telling a friend that time is all I have, and it’s enough, meaning if I will just settle into the moment, the rest will take care of itself. Of course, I am in my sixth decade now, and I am only just realizing this. You are way ahead of me for you say,”I have all the time I’m going to get.” Really enjoyed the post.

    Karen

    • You’re so welcome, Karen. I loved your post! I try to accept and adapt to the present…it isn’t always easy. Let the day unfold and show progress are daily goals. LOL. When I stop thinking about it so much, then I’ll get it. 😉

  2. Great post, Diana! This kind of relates to my planned Wednesday post. Someone just decided to.start measuring time by a clock. Yeah, it works, but it’s a socially constructed thing. I think you’re right. If we had more time, we’d have more things to do. 🙂

  3. Diana, I’ve always believed that eternity is the absence of time, not the superabundance of time. So, if we’re truly made to be eternal as is our creator, then time is not really a factor in our lives because all that truly exists is the NOW – everything else is just a wish or a memory. It’s amazing what you can get done when you realize that time is not really a factor!

    I had a boss once at EDS who was one of the most intense people you could ever meet (I think Steve remembers him). He was so obsessed with time and deadlines that he was driving himself right into an early grave. He took a (forced by his wife) vacation to the islands, and returned a changed man. He told me he saw people whose entire day was around finding enough food on the beach to feed his family, making sure the palm leaves being used as his roof didn’t blow off, and wondering when the next storm would hit that could damage his home. He didn’t care if that report got out by 5:00 PM or if the project was finished on Monday or Wednesday. He realized that most of the deadlines we set for ourselves are artificial. He realized in that moment that, unless the work he was doing would have an impact on the lives of these natives on the beach, it wasn’t worth getting a heart attack or an ulcer over. He calmed down, eased back, and started enjoying life for a change. He still got his work done and inspired us to get ours done, but timelines and deadlines became more reasonable and workable. He no longer lived like it was “all about the job.” Suddenly, we all had enough time to do our work and live a full and happy life. I’ve never forgotten that, and I was glad to have been working for him when he made this transition.

    Time is the enemy – not bacause there’s never enough of it, but because we elevate it’s importance beyond what is healthy. Things generally get done when they’re supposed to get done in spite of our best efforts. Maybe if we concern ourselves less with time and more with the legacy we’re leaving behind (our family, our friends, what we stand for, how we treat others, the example we set for others to follow, putting our God-given talents to use in the most effective way), we’ll find the order and balance that our lives need and discover that the balance was there all along – we just couldn’t see it because the clock was in the way.

    • Absolutely, yes, Bill. Eternity, not time, is what our focus should be on. Why limit ourselves?! Thank you for the thoughtful comments.

  4. If you only knew how many times I wished I could be a golden-eyed twilight vamp simply for that one reason – time. I require a clone of myself. Except I fear some sort of twisted version of Multiplicity. It didn’t work out so well for him. Each clone took on a different trait as the dominate personality factor and the problems began. What ever happened to the good old days when expectations and goals where realistic? Are those times merely a myth? I think they may be. I think our chaotic lives only evolve with technology. It doesn’t get simpler, only more demanding. Thank you for pulling the thoughts from my head this morning. 😉

    • I have always had that Multiplicity fear, too, so I’ve given up the hope that any clone of mine would work as smartly as I’d want her to. (As if…LOL.) You make a great point about technology. It isn’t simpler. It’s instant-gratification on crack (oh, new post title!). The “good old days” included patience and the understanding that we would get there when we got there. Can you imagine writing as much as we do on a typewriter? We would be much better typists, that’s for sure!

  5. I’m always in the weeds time-wise, but had a lot of fun pondering time when I wrote my time travel novels. Daniel Boorstin wrote a really neat NF that had a big section on time called The Discoverers. He has a lovely, readable writing style. I wonder if it is his fault I write the occasional time travel? LOL!

  6. Ah, time, it seems like the older I get or the busier I am, the faster it goes. I’ve often thought it would be nice to be able to loop time for a day, sort of like “Groundhog Day” but with the ability to move on to the next day at will; that way I could catch up on all my reading. 🙂

    • Selective time looping! Great idea! You need Hermione’s Time Turner, but you would get only a few hours at a time. 😉 It might be enough to turn a few pages, too.

  7. I think extra time would equal extra to-do’s. I base that on how I filled my 700-square-foot apartment when I was single, and now our house 3 times that size is full. Isn’t there some physics principle about that? How stuff fills the space it is given?

    • I think you’re right! I think empty space is a magnet at our house. If we did have “free” time with nothing to do, we would probably be bored. Someone once told me that boredome is just a lack of creativity. I’ll take creativity over boredom any day.

  8. Funny thing… I just finished commenting on another friend’s blog about my lack of time. I was whining because my to-read list keeps growing, but I rarely pick up a book!

    I do believe that if the days were longer, we would still be wishing for more time. People, especially those who work hard to pursue their dreams, will always push themselves to accomplish more. It’s in our nature.

    • I can relate to that! Take the list in chunks and prioritize, and sometimes priorities change. I’m learning to be more flexible about the list.

  9. The big problem is that even if we got more time in the day, our work weeks and days would probably last the same amount of time that they do now. I doubt the established busy days we have would change. We would just probably work every third day in the dark. I would love a way to get some more time and less tasks to get done. If you figure out a way, make sure you let me know!

  10. Hey Diana. Great topic. Two thoughts: When I was a child my grandmother would OFTEN tell me how as she got older it seemed to her that time actually went faster. I thought she was joking, in the way she did when she’d explain about all the “pipes” in my throat when I’d choke. “It must have gone down your Tuesday pipe. And today’s Wednesday.” But now that I’m a grandmother I know exactly what she meant. It actually does go faster. My husband gave me the scientific explanation for it, which I of course forget. Something about how much is now familiar to us. My second thought takes me back to Kazakhstan where I’ve written that one would NEVER hear, “oh look at the time. I must run,” like we say in the States so often. No. Kazakhs do not adjust their day to fit into something called “time.” Instead they adjust time to fit into their day. it’s an attitude I swore I’d hang onto once I returned home. Alas…..

    • I’ve never heard the “wrong pipes” referred to with the days of the week. The Kazakhs have it right–thank you for sharing their attitude about time. Let’s see about adjusting time to fit our days. I think that’s like what Karen said about being present with the present and what Bill said about the clock.

  11. Pingback: When Time Traveling Can Predict the Future | Diana Beebe's Blog

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