In near ten weeks the year, 2018, will come to a close. Which is probably the most depressing datum I have ever put into one of my blogs thus far and also far more likely the most mundane. The world rotates, time moves forward, these are the facts of life. With the closing of the year comes the normal reactive response of reflection, ones which are only due to intensify as time slips on by. I may be starting this internal inspection a little sooner then most having it all started a few week backs where I had nothing to write about. With it came the reminding realisation of the importance of time, of using it wisely and correctly. As time is fast becoming our most vital commodity and one, in many instances, far beyond our reaches of control.
This year I turned twenty-five and while a considerable milestone I am fully aware that I have plenty, plenty of time ahead of myself, well that’s what I keep telling myself at least yet I am equally very aware of its presence. Outside of my attempt to produce 52 unique blog posts this year my main goal was not only to fully pen one of my many burgeoning but a couple of them. As I certainly have a fair few of them from Project THING to Project STRANGE, Project KABLAM and Project ADVENTURE to Project OUT OF THIS WORLD. (Clearly these aren’t the final names but just pseudonyms relating to each project so as not to feel this blog with each of its tedious details). In an ideal world free from the constraints of time I would write all five projects in parallel tandem, so as to be unburned from my own clashing of ideas and desire to write everything all at once. Of course the above certainly requires more than the removal of the constraints of time but time is the over overriding worry I find myself competing with. I’ve long banged on about my desire to be a writer but I struggle to find the balance in my time of wanting to write and read and watch and play and study and socialise and explore and so forth.
This I believe is one of the greatest struggles of the modern mind; of finding and striking that perfect balance of time management and finding enjoyment in it all. Why though are we in this constant metaphorical tussle with something intangible and self constructed? If you were to remove all of the constructs and indicators of time, allowing for only the moon and the stars to commence day end, would you be any more productive? A great desire of many, myself included, is to unshackle themselves of all these constructs and constraints placed upon us and become a rambling nomad, a super-tramp in the vein of McCandless. Is it these constructs or my own frivolousness with them that is the issue? Would I be anymore productive without any of them or would I just be lost to the wilderness?
As I count towards the years end and look upon my many unfinished projects, upon my own goals and desires against my own self imposed measuring stick, I am disheartened. I have read numerous books, more than I have ever read in a year, watched more than ever before, I have travelled and explored and cultured myself. I have filled two whole notebooks with ideas, concepts and nonsense, a new high for myself and will have successfully completed 42 blog posts by the end of this here piece. I have done more and experienced more and learned more then ever before and yet when I apply it to the goals I set out at the beginning of the year it feels wasted, as if time is running away from me, that I have achieved nothing. Time is precious to us and once it’s gone it’s gone, we can’t get it back. It is our great dictator and manipulator, twisting and distorting our own perceptions and understandings of ourselves. While I feel I have been incredibly lazy with my writing and I know I have idled with ideas far too long which has long been a downfall of my workings, I have never been more productive. We craft our own pressures and stresses, we measure ourselves and them in time and achievement, we contort time and distort it through markings and events from illnesses, holidays, deaths and birthdays. We add constructs to constructs. We add impossibilities to that that is impossible. We measure and mark everything we do, we scale it and we judge it. And the answer is so simple; don’t. That is so easier said then done though, maybe an impossibility even. We can free up time and find time, we can rework our sleeping pattern or put in more hours, work longer and harder but even so we just readjust the scale, we simply re-mark the tape.
Time can feel long and slow or can pass in the blink of an eye. It can feel wasted or satisfying. Time is our strongest conceit, it is something we endlessly worry about and stress over because due to its intangibility, due to our own associations with it. We will always feel inferior to it but we need to learn to not give ourselves these added stresses. I have such a want and a desire to be a writer that everything at times can feel inconsequential to it and time not spent writing is time wasted. All my goals and aims relate to time; ‘by such and such age I should have done’ and ‘by so and so I will have’ and so on. This may be something I am never able to break and such markers in someways can be good, a driving force but these will always fall into becoming a scale, a form of measurement. We need to stop putting such an emphasis on time and more on enjoyment. Time will ever move forward, it will be ever lost so there is no point in mourning it, we need to focus and find the enjoyment in the doing, in the crafting, in the finding, the reading, the playing, in the exploring. If we are unable to find this even when we achieve something then that time will all have been wasted. Time isn’t something you put in to get somewhere, it isn’t by something which we judge our success, it is simply an ever ticking presence. It is incredibly precious but it is not our decider or our dictator, it is not our stresser or enemy, we can’t control it nor should we let it control us. This is all easy to say but is something much harder to do, to enjoy time rather then allow it to dictate and measure our lives will require work and effort but to be free of doubt, self-judgment and of measuring our lives it is worth it. If we continue as we are enwrapped in our goals, watching the sands of time slip by will anything ever seem worth it.