March 8 , 2016 /
I have often mused on the meaning of time, how we regard it, use it as if it were a commodity, even talk about how we spend it. One reason the concept of time interests me is that I regard the sun, moon and stars as better keepers of time than we are and I believe the indigenous peoples were onto this long before we invented clocks and attempted to regulate time according to our needs and interests. My conclusion, along with a few others, is that time is a construct, an invention for our convenience. Most of our measuring, organizing, and even selling time contribute to our illusion of time as something real which we can see and manipulate.
How we experience the passing of time has been a subject of exploration and invention for centuries with various instruments put together to first see how the sun and moon, relative to the earth, moved from one day to the next. The earliest devices such as obelisks and sundials were not mechanical but mechanics gradually put pieces of machinery together until we had clocks and those were based on either 12 or 24 hour periods of time, periods of time, spaces from one period to the next. Soon people started measuring their days by hours and assigning various activities to certain hours such as work, home life and projects of all kinds with timelines.
Today, most computers, smart phones and calendars will tell you what time it is without your having to do anything but look and, if you forget to look, there are reminders in the form of bells, whistles and gongs. Those are to let you know what needs to be done or how much time you have before the next appointment or task. Or if you set a timer, it means time is up. Up? Expired, gone. Where did it go? The mere name “alarm clock” should be banished. Why should it be an alarm which means “an anxious awareness of a danger” instead of “gentle wake up clock.” Yes, I know, they make those too, soft increasingly louder chimes.
Of interest to me is that I now have more choices about how I use a day, week or month than ever before, being free from work, growing children, and earning a living. Here is a quick summary of what I did for the past four months (2016) without all the details, observations, and conclusions.
- Researched and purchased our 6thRV/motorhome.
2. Traveled 7000+ miles on highways from NM to CA to MX and back through TX, AZ, CA and home again to NM.
3. Camped, with amenities, for two months on a beach in Lo de Marcos, MX.
4. Invested time walking, reading, writing, meditating, questioning, musing.
5. Worked with three brief projects each taking about a week’s worth of time. What is a week?
We all have the same amount of time, more than enough to do what needs to be done. It is not about time, nor how much nor how little. Rather, it’s about the choices that we make that fill up the space of an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year. We can think of those five entities as spaces given to us to use as we wish, or in some cases, as others would like as well. In the end, what matters is whether you believe your investment of time has given you and others the benefits and rewards of a life well-lived.