Have you ever noticed how we talk about time? We often address it like a fierce competitor we have to beat to the finish line. We crunch it, beat it, and race against it. But I wonder what would happen if we were to treat time as a partner, as a friend, as the Siamese twin it was meant to be? In my book, time equals existence, not money as Benjamin Franklin was apt to say.
Let me back up. Time, in truth, is a construct. It is an organizing principle that helps us meet expectations, such as getting to the same restaurant at the same moment as your friend so you can have lunch. It is a useful tool in commerce, too. You wouldn't want to miss that shipment coming in from abroad, now would you? In fact, global time wasn't properly introduced until October 13, 1884 when a few folks from 26 nations gathered in Washington, DC to agree upon the prime meridian that sliced through the Greenwich Observatory's telescope in England. In that agreement, the Earth was placed into a girdle with 24 strands. We call them time zones. For anyone who's suffered jet lag, as I just have after a two-week trip to the US, you'll know the effect time change can have on you.
So if time is something we've made up, why do we engage in clock combat, that insidious striving to beat that which we cannot control? We often attempt to cram so much into our day that we are left breathless even trying to 'keep up.' But, what exactly are we keeping up with? My guess it is an imaginary standard as made-up as time itself.
I would claim multitasking is symptomatic of a much broader issue. We attempt to do two or more comparably difficult things at once (texting while driving comes to mind) because we think we don't have enough time. Truth be told, we are living longer than we ever have in human history. With an current average life expectancy of 78.11 years in the United States, we have a lot more time than we used to.
Time as friend? Now there's a thought. What would your life look like if you embraced a time abundant mentality?
Here's a fun task to try. The next time you are going somewhere and you think you might be late, turn off all distractions (radio, cell phone, iPod, etc) and simply concentrate on where you are going while observing the speed limit. Breathe deeply as you do and tell yourself "I will get there at the exact moment I need to." Chances are you will arrive in a state of bliss. Even if you are a few moments late according to the clock, you will have lived one of the basic priniciples of the power of slow ~ mindful living while being fully engaged in the here and now.
So go for it. Then tell me how you did!