One Man Versus Time

by Christian Thomas Golden

I don’t have enough of it. I’ve got to much of it. Where does it all go? What happened to it? Am I using it efficiently? Am I wasting it?

What is it? Is it?

The sun rises, and it sets. The digits (or hands) change second by second, minute by minute, and hour by hour. Things change during this…change. There are many wise sayings regarding our relationship with time (none of which will I explicitly exploit, though perhaps inadvertently in this piece).

Does time happen to us, do we happen to time, or is there some interplay thereof? Am I wasting my time writing this? Can one actually “waste” time? Again, what is time (if it really exists)?

Many wise people have argued the existence of time. That is not exactly my point here. My point is to expose my struggle with time, and my current relationship to time.

I suffer from the contradictory condition of procrastination and fear of wasting time. Ain’t that something! It is somewhat exemplified in a verse in the bible that goes something like (I could look it up, but who has the TIME), “my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak” or also “I know what it is I should do, yet I find myself doing the things I know I should not do.”

In relation to time, I will find myself upon a block of time unplanned for. I will sit, wonder what to do, think of several things, and do none of them. I could even have a few essential “doings” in mind (errands, homework, chores, bills, etc) that I had forgotten about previously, and still neglect to do them, in favor of the lovely nothingness that I continue to stress over.

The great philosopher Soren Kierkegaard had some very great things to say about choice (that damned thing), which leads me now to realize that my two conditions are not contradictory, but compounding. It is my fear of wasting time (fear of making wrong decisions) that causes me to procrastinate (fail to make decisions).

This brings me to the climatic issue (taking this micro-thing and applying it to the macro). As individuals we are failing ourselves and each other by submitting to fears rather than facing them, failing, changing, then succeeding (hopefully before we depart). The worst that can happen? I fail until the day I die. That’s horrible!

But it comes down to the old “are you going to happen to time, or is time going to happen to you.” You can have one of two tombstones: “I died fighting” or “Some won, some lost, I just watched.”

Should I read a book? Should I pray? Should I rake the leaves? Should I play a game? Should I watch a movie? Should I check my email?

Stop asking already and do something. If you should’ve done something else, what are you going to do about it now?

I’m talking to myself of course.