Is your time valuable? Like really valuable – to you?
If your being honest with yourself, you’ll probably think for a second or two, before you answer. The majority of people would conclude with a solid yes to this question. And why wouldn’t you? Our time here on this planet is limited, so this answer is anchored into our veins.
“Make your time valuable, little creature.” *(the little voice inside all of us)
The last months I’ve been able to hear this voice quite loudly. Maybe I just started listening properly, and trying, reluctantly of course, not to find ways to numb it. The same tune is playing every time, louder and louder; is your time valuable? Like really, really valuable?
This must be one of the most used phrases of all times, among adults. This simple, worn out saying. “Omg, how time flies!”, “shit, time is running out” or “I can’t believe how time flies”.
But why are we saying this – like all the time? Why are we saying this until we get so bored of our own voice that we start to lose our minds? Why?
Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in an apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, to the future.
As a child, time barely flies. We all remember the torturous feeling of waiting for Santa, waiting for our parents to pick us up from school or longing for the sweets we were going to get on Saturday night.
When time actually flies as a child, it’s because you are so caught up playing, that you almost can’t tell where you are or who you are. You are totally lost, but profoundly present in the moment.
So, I’m wondering, in the pursuit of finding back to the valuable feeling of being a child profoundly present in the moment. Why does the meaning of time change so radically from a child’s perspective to an adult’s perception?
After a certain amount of time, the majority of people grow up and face the reality of life. We dive into the adult life with all the responsibility, pressure and challenge it brings. But the emerging feeling of lost time seem to arise at the same time. Like time is now suddenly vanishing before our eyes.
A meaningful life is something we all search for. But it can appear as though aiming and wanting a meaningful life, makes us delusional when it comes to the conceptualization of time.
Why isn’t pursuing meaningful things in itself enough, to get us back to the valuable feeling when time flies as a child? Where time only flies in the moments where you are actually being present, lost in the moment and enjoying the thing you are doing.
Today the valuable feeling of being present in the moment for adults, seem to be contaminated with compulsive behaviour and impulsive, short-term pleasures.
Why else are we constantly finding ourselves indulging and abusing alcohol, drugs, social media and so on? Why do we feel the need to escape and numb the reality of an adult life? To experience the sensational feeling of being a child present in the moment again?
Okey, that’s just sad. I need to have a badass trip and a Facebook feed filled with cute puppies that can dance, to feel present in the moment? Well, there’s a life I didn’t sign up for!
Don’t we have time to do everything we want or are we spending our time doing something we don’t want to be doing? Or are we so afraid that our life has no meaning so we overfill it with things and events – even if they don’t matter to us?
As a child we haven’t learned to conceptualize meaning yet. That is something we’re taught through socialization and interactions with peers and parents. A child jumps head first into something without evaluating if it’s a good or bad thing to do, or if it will bring you future negative consequences. That’s often why we learn the hard way, which is a good thing.
My point is that when a child is being profoundly present in the moment, it’s almost never to numb an arising negative emotion or to wallow in short-term pleasures – if they’re not taught so by their parents.
Time flies because of the actual feeling of something meaningful and worthy of that time. Even if it’s just for a little while. For adults it can seem like a pointless drawing, play or a movie – but you can’t take away the sensation of meaning that the child is experiencing.
That’s one of the pivotal differences of a child’s perspective of time to an adult’s perception of what makes time fly in our life. Of course, as adults we have more pressure, responsibility and challenges that requires us to be concerned with time, but do you feel like you don’t have a choice? *hello to the 12th notification you’ve gotten while reading this article (and probably checked)
Don’t you want your time to fly because you are doing something you find profoundly meaningful?
Life is a struggle. We face difficulties and challenges we can’t even begin to grasp as a child. We can’t escape that, without escaping a true meaningful life in itself.
“To be human means to be constantly in the grip of opposing emotions, to daily reconcile apparently conflicting tensions. I want this, but I need that. I cherish this, but I adore its opposite, too.”
– Stephen Fry
We can make time the most valuable factor in our life. The fact that we as adults can transgress and seize the meaning of life in a much more profound way than children, also makes us capable and competent enough to face the inevitable difficulties and challenges of life. Make your time worthy. Make your time count for something.