Think of half an hour.
What bearing does a single half hour have on us when there are so many hours, day, weeks, and years in our lifetime? Thirty minutes, eighteen hundred seconds, one forty-eighth of a day, one sixteen-thousand-five-hundred-twentieth of a year. Time is something that is both misused and misunderstood simultaneously. That is not to say that time is unimportant or unfair. There are many of us who have a slanted perception of how time ultimately affects us. There are many things that can and cannot be accomplished in a half hour. You definitely aren’t going to enact social policy, but you could enjoy nature for a moment; admire the forests and streams that may soon be gone. You might not be able to watch the great plays, but you could finish a chapter in a novel.
So why do some experience such a lack of time?
As if some were given more time than others?
The answer is simple. Perception is the key to life.
Some see only what they cannot have and others see what they already do have. That perception leads us to see that responsibility of our own choices is what frames our lives. Let us think of our elders. This cohort of people has experienced and can reflect back on their years of worry and realize that there was more around them than they believed. They once saw life as a race in which you could never beat the clock. They experience life anew, returning to places and participating in things long forgotten. As we move through this life, we are often faced with the overwhelming certainty that we will not finish what we have started. We barrel through life as if each precious second was wasted if we stopped for a moment. But it is this life that we race through that we are truly missing. The elderly see life as it was: the simplicities that make it great and the complexities that often leave those still seeking purpose confused and bewildered.
It is in the two extremes of life that we see beings understand the world for what it is, our elders and our children. Children are beset with such wonder for the world that they are fundamentally unburdened with a need to categorize time. They are free of this because they wander about experiencing the world around them. Even things that are already known can be experienced anew.
Their choices and their consequences are simple to them because they are seeing them for the first time. They will not slant them and pervert them as purpose-finding beings often do. A child will not be heard saying that they don’t have enough time to finish playing in the woods. They understand the simplicities that we often take for granted.
So what can be done to make use of your time?
Different people at different points in their lives perceive time differently. Most waste time, but there are those who find a focus for their lives: a purpose. You, and the choices that you have made, have created the foundation for whatever walls stand in your way. Time is not the culprit of your ills, but human action, or inaction for that matter. Habit and repetition can help you to make good use of your time because once it passes you by, it is gone. All you can do is make the best of the time you have left. Focus on what you want and stop complaining because everyone else is too preoccupied to listen.
Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.