(Deep breath in and let it out)
Never seems to be enough and we’re always wanting more of it. Time is money. Time is precious. Always seems like we all are racing to get somewhere or to do something. Running to be on time, running because we’re late, running because we’re trying to be beat our best time in an actual race. Lately, I’ve been running around places…and not the kind of running that brings me peace and makes me grounded, or sane for that matter. I feel more like this…
Why does time seem to fly?
I had dinner with a friend the other night and we were both talking about what we’ve been up to and how busy we’ve both have been with work and personal lives. As I was talking about everything I could feel my blood pressure rise as I was ticking off the things I have done and planning to do and I started talking faster and faster. She stopped me. Asked ‘what does time mean to you?’ Whoa. What? That question stopped me in my tracks and felt like the million-dollar question. What does time mean to me? Hmmm.
First of all, let me start with what I know about time and how I react to it. I know I’m obsessed with time. I even stopped wearing a watch to help calm me a little…it helps but not 100%. I know that as a Project Manager, my job is to deliver projects on time and within budget. I know that time stresses me out.
Even as a kid, I remember rushing to make sure I would be at school on time and not because I was ever late. I’d wake up in plenty of time to make sure I had time to eat breakfast, shower, and get ready. I was always the first one at school or at the bus stop. Somewhere along the lines I developed a fear of being late and then having to make up that lost time somewhere else. I don’t even know where this fear came from it wasn’t from my parents or teachers. I guess it was just something I was born with.
My theory is if I’m early, I’m prepared, and I can focus on what I’m doing. If I’m late, I’m having to catch up and worried about how being late is going to effect the rest of my day. In fact, I’m known for being early to everything. Just ask any of my friends or co-workers. When my husband and I used to carpool, I set our car clock to be 10 minutes fast so he would think we were making it to work on time. Of course, he didn’t really care and neither did my boss. Another time, I managed a project where my team kept being late so I changed their invite to be 30 minutes before our client arrived. I wanted them to be prepared, to not walk in after the client. They caught on and from then on they would ask me if the meeting invite was ‘Rebecca Time’ or the actual meeting time. Finally, yesterday, my manager was 10 minutes late to our 1:1. I have rule – leave me waiting for 10 minutes without letting me know and I’m done. I go back to what I was working on before our scheduled meeting. If you want to make me mad, be late to something without telling me your running late. Personally, I really don’t mind if someone is late or running late (I really don’t), just have the respect to let me know. Most of the time, I’m not trying to push my obsessive compulsive behavior on everyone else.
So what does time mean to me? What I’d like to say is time means nothing. It’s about being in the moment. Being present. Enjoying what is…. right this very second. But I think I’m learning that about time, I’m not acting on those principles. As I look into my future, I do see a calmer me. My dream is stop caring so much about time and be in the present. I need to make my dream come true. There’s nothing stopping me (except for myself) from doing that now. I know I can’t change overnight but I’ll work on making some small changes. (And no I haven’t figured out what those small changes are just yet)
What does time mean to you?