Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Losing time or losing the war on time

Coffee break
Last week, as I was walking to my long awaited 16:00 pm coffee break with my cubi-neighbor (cubicle neighbor), I expressed a restrained joy about the coming weekend.
Joe: “I can’t believe it is Thursday already. The week just flew by. Oh joy oh joy”
She: “yeah it’s great!!... Doesn’t it seem weird to you we are happy about time passing while actually we should want every day to last as long as possible? Time is precious no?''
After she said that I went on as usual and just laughed at her question and her outfit but I can’t seem to stop thinking about it since.

Hit the breaks
I keep talking about how my time is all I have and I want people to respect it, when in fact most of the time, I’m only wishing for it to go by faster. And it’s not just me. Most of us are always happy when a week ends although it means that another week has passed. Another week we won’t ever get back. Have we achieved anything during that week? (Watching three CSI:Miami episodes per day is not an achievement) Have we enjoyed it as much as we could? Have we reconnected with someone? Is making it through to the weekend enough to rejoice about?

When I was younger (I mean until 3 months ago) I had no sense of time; “mmmm…. The final exam is tomorrow? That’s plenty of time!!!”  Or “I think I’ll just sleep and watch TV for a couple of days just to unwind”.

I’m sure you’ll agree after a certain stage in life, a few days to unwind are just a dream and every hour is accounted for and priced accordingly.

In average, a man lives 27,375 days. Let’s say the first five years are just a warm up before the big game and the last 5 years are for stretching and relaxing. That means we only have 23,725 days at our disposal. I’m turning 30 today (thank you for your wishes) so I have another 14,600 days to use. So instead of really using it in a meaningful way I rather watch TV and piss the day away waiting for the weekend.

The holy weekend! According to my calculations I have another 4,171 weekend days (2 days per weekend) to enjoy.  So basically I waste 10,429 day waiting for the weekend.

The numbers are so cruel but if I could place a giant counter or a huge hourglass in front of my TV I’m sure I’ll be much more productive.

Killing time
Have you ever heard that expression? “Killing time”? Why would anybody want to kill time? Sometimes people smoke a cigarette to kill time and end up killing themselves. Time is still going. 

Maybe thanks to modern medicine we live longer so time’s value has descended. Or maybe thanks to technology we can do more in less time. Or maybe thanks to anti-aging creams we can turn back time completely. Whatever the reason is, we feel we have too much time on our hands.  

We accept in relative peace the fact we have to spend our time standing in traffic, waiting in line, wait for people running late, wait for partners to make up their mind, wait for the stock to go up, wait for the price to go down, wait for the big chance, wait for a promotion, wait for the holidays and sometimes we just wait with no apparent reason. 

So, why we do not mourn every day gone by? Every week? Every month? On a contrary, we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, new years as if making it is a cause for celebration.

There is a saying “time will heal all wounds” but what about the wounds caused by time?  Lost of youth, missed opportunities, wrong turns, friends lost, best sex ever already passed and the list goes on.

In his book ‘The Alchemist‘, Paulo Coelho claims each person gets one chance to change his life each day. Most of us miss that chance for most days (because we watch CSI).
After some practice I must say I’m half way there. I've gotten really good at feeling that moment when it comes. So I have another 14,600 days to do it. I only need to make it once or twice and I’ll be satisfied.

Celebrate a Tuesday
In a few hours I’ll go to sleep and wake up for work tomorrow. From that instant I’ll be praying for the weekend to come. Like I’m going to cure cancer over the weekend or something.

Where I come from there is a saying, “whoever wasn't born lost” so my 30th birthday resolution is to start acting like whoever was born won.

That’s all for now winners (yeah I know I’m going Charlie sheen on you), it seems we ran out of time.

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