The Writings Of Tao Writer – A Matter Of Time

The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time.

— Bertrand Russell

Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -)

Time is all I have but I can not claim ownership because I do not know when it will run out. Remember Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz? The wicked witch gave her until the sand completely ran out of the hour glass to turn over the Ruby Red Slippers. She watched in fearful anticipation each grain working its way from the top of the hourglass to the bottom. Her life, hopes and dreams slipping away with the fall of each minute eternity.

Time is not really important. In the end, how we used our time on this planet is the only measurement of our lives. The top portion of the hourglass, like life, starts out full and ends up empty. The bottom starts out empty and ends up full but we don’t get to turn it over. One life is all I have. I know the amount of time ahead for me is less than the time I have already lived. Each day I treasure waking up to this life because I know one day I will not. So it is important for me to live my life, the time I have remaining with all the fullness and richness I can fantom. So how do I do that?

Let’s look at a week in terms of lineal time. It is seven day times twenty four hours a day or one hundred sixty eight hours per week. My major fixed time allotment is work, fifty hours including travel time and the morning ritual of getting ready. Sleep, well, I devote eight hours per night to it but usually if I sleep for six hours, I consider myself lucky. There are few nights that I sleep through without interruption, but I consider those hours when I’m awake in the middle of the night to be some of my most creative if not most mental. So that’s another fifty six hours for a total so far of one hundred six hours per week devoted to work and sleep. So how do I spend the remaining sixty two hours of my week?

The bulk of that remaining time, thirty two hours (sixteen hours of sleep time already accounted for) takes place on my two days off and the remaining thirty hours or six hours per day (including an hour for lunch) during the work week is the most important part of my life. It is the time left for me to structure how I choose. There are some fixed elements included in this time such as chores, laundry, grocery shopping, house cleaning, etc. but it is still time which I decide how best to utilize.

Because this time is so important, I am very protective of my solitude and privacy. I enjoy my unscheduled time, primarily alone to do the things I enjoy the most: reading, writing, thinking and dreaming. I don’t own a television and I am not a big movie fan. If I do watch a movie, It has to be a movie which entertains me and takes me completely outside of myself to spend two of my precious hours engaged in watching. Fiction and dramas, I’m afraid, are to reflective of life, which I would rather live than watch.

I enjoy my own company, so if I’m going to spend time with another person, that person has to be at least as interesting to me as I am to myself, else why even go there? It is important also to not permit others to schedule my time for me without my permission. Don’t volunteer my time to take someone to the airport just because it’s my day off. Especially if it’s my day off. I know your first reaction is that I am selfish and that would be true. I am very selfish with my time because in the end, time is all I have had.

The important thing here is that unscheduled time is really unscheduled as much as possible and if scheduled, it is full of the things I enjoy doing. I may do absolutely nothing but sit and watch the clouds drifting across the sky or the dogs running in the yard or the trees swaying in the wind and I am perfectly at peace utilizing this precious gift in the manner I choose.

Disclaimer: All this talk about time is moot when I am in love. In this euphoria, time changes from a lineal dimension to a multidimensional one. Those things which fill my time are still important but are now viewed in a different light. The singularity of these endeavors is now enhanced by the complete oneness of union. Time is no longer a process of the mind but a gift of the heart and any time away from the beloved is truely a loss of time.