Are we slaves to the most precious commodity of all?
From the very moment our ears are assaulted by the blaring caterwauling of the alarm clock through to the rushed and or cramped commute – via the astir breakfast – time is the proverbial whip which cracks on our back throughout our days.
Our working week is organised to be as understanding towards Father Time as possible, and yet we are at constant loggerheads. We shift things, juggling a variety of events and tasks to squeeze them into an aperture that is far from accomodating.
It is a battle against a foe that should be an ally. Our time is short so we should place an emphasis on juicing every last drop from our limited number of minutes. We instead create a panicked slideshow that has no window for toilet or refreshment breaks. Scream if you want to go faster.
It is only when the lights go on and we manage to escape this furious routine that we realise how much we have missed. Those precious weeks when work is relegated to the back of our mind and we get to enjoy the fruits of our labours.
It is an epiphany we have every year. We don’t have to be sunning ourselves on a beach to turn this lightbulb on either. Any time spent away from the constant nature of work will switch it on, and we vow to make the changes we need to optimise the rat race we all take part in.
Mostly though, we just pine for those weeks to return. Some of the more pro-active of us have the substance and foresight to amend what needs to be amended and they reap the rewards of a far easier day-to-day living. For the rest of us, we simply line up on the blocks again, ready for the starter pistol to fire.
We return from work and the sands of time do not stop for us. We take part in a jigsaw that has too many pieces, but every last bit represents something that is as important as the last. It is inevitable that some of these pieces will be left in the box.
Some of us place more emphasis on the ticking arm of the clock than others, but none of us escape the spotlight that the clock casts. How can we ensure our days are not the same laborious fight?
We cannot. There are things that are immovable, and the demands that time places on us are unavoidable. We can employ hindsight and a certain presence of mind to make sure that the fatigue from the relentless pace does not become too draining however.
If we realise that each day is an obstacle and we must overcome it in order to reach an end goal, then it will be far easier to navigate with a touch of optimism. Don’t concentrate on what we cannot do, instead we should keep firmly focused on each small victory we obtain along the way.
We are all in this race, and yet we can all win.
Those small lifts we all experience are not as frivolous as first imagined. The barbecue you attend in summer with friends. The compliment you receive from a colleague. The new album you purchased that has become the soundtrack of your life. The wonderful meal you shared with your loved ones.
Thse are not mere pitstops. These are the images that make up our life’s slideshow. Hindsight can often be futile, but looking back on these moments can allow us to grasp just why we are running so hard in the first place.
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