Some Unusual Qualities of Time

I’ve been thinking a lot about time recently. How it bends and shifts. How weird it is, and how weird we get around it.

Here are a couple of things I noticed that may help you have a better relationship with time.

Displacement – Time is like a solid box and everything we put inside it is like a liquid substance. Since time can neither be created or destroyed tends to simply displace itself to other areas.

When you’ve added something to your calendar you don’t really add anything, you simply displace something else by adding it.

When you remove something you take nothing away you simply create more space for something else to fill it.

This is why it’s so easy to overschedule yourself, because most people don’t really consider what they are displacing when they say yes. It’s also why you feel busy even when you “clear some time on your calendar” because you don’t notice the other things that flow into the space.

Inhumanity – Time doesn’t really care about you being a human and that things go wrong. It is unyieldingly precise. Time doesn’t flex because there’s traffic, it doesn’t contract because the bus is late. It marches on regardless of what is occurring to you in your life.

This is why things fall apart so quickly when something in your well designed schedule doesn’t work out as planned. If you don’t add some humanity to your schedule and life, a little space for things not to work out, you’re screwed.

No judgement – Time doesn’t exercise any judgement. If you fill it, you will feel full. If you leave it empty, you will feel that space. Time doesn’t care what you fill it with. It could be something profound, mundane, dramatic, or even absurd. Time will simply tell you when it’s full.

This is why so many people are what I call Lazy-Busy. It’s a state where their time is filled. They feel busy because of this fullness but it’s full of things because the things have been poorly designed and mis packed. It’s like someone opened up the back of a hatchback and just threw things inside. And then when something was taken out, they found the next thing closest to them and threw that inside too.

A poorly packed car is maddening, a well packed car is impressive, a car packed with the items it needs, with space to find and maneuver those items in a useful way, is truly magical.