Time is one of the Universe's fair resources. Prince or Pauper, Goose or Gander, we all have 168 hours per week. No one can buy more time for us – not really, and no one can, in reality, buy our time. (Of course, we can agree to spend our time in a certain way on behalf of someone else – but it remains our time.)
Here's the scene... A long journey lay ahead of me the next day. I was going to use Public Transport and the potential for delays and complications was magnified by each additional connection. I knew taking responsibility by driving to my destination was actually only an illusion of control. I would be subject to the choices other people made to use the same roads. Their choices could also delay my planned progress. So which to choose?
Up until now, my life has been lived "at the last minute". By this I mean allowing just enough time to get from A to B so that I could spend my time on other interesting or distracting things as well. Unsurprisingly, this often allowed stressors to mount up like a wave and flood my ability to cope every time I was late. 90% of the time, this was my fault. It was a result of how I chose to allocate my use of time.
For my long journey, I chose a new strategy. I would get up ridiculously early and get ready as if it was a day off with no pressing commitments. No rushing my bathroom time. No panic. No outbursts of bad temper when something (usually an inanimate object) was "stupid" for not doing what I wanted it to do. I would also catch the train that the timetables said would get me there just in time.
The plan went well, and I got ready in a calm and pleasant manner. In fact this was so efficient that I was then in a position to catch an earlier train... if I hurried. The sense of panic was horrible. It made sense to get there early just in case anything went wrong... My heart beat faster... Time to choose...
But my willingness to maintain the experiment prevailed. I decided to catch my intended train, giving me plenty of time to get to the station, get my tickets and park without panic.
So I drove sedately to the station while other commuters, dancing to the beat of another drummer, zoomed past me at illegal speeds. There was no queue at the ticket office – after all, I was there at the wrong time! I had a chat with the member of staff who sold tickets. He was amazingly clued in on how to get the best deal – and I even got a better deal that what the internet had suggested as the best deal. We had a nice chat.
I then had time to pop into the independent coffee shop in the station and have a life-affirming chat with two very charismatic members of their team. When I came out, the queue outside the ticket office was long and filled with frustrated time-pressed people.
I caught the train, on time. I got to my final destination, on time. I got back in a similar way. And I had lots of very pleasant encounters on the way. I left the computer behind all day. I read books.
My experiment was a success, and I was nice to be around. I did good business. I hope I've learned something.
Give yourself the gift of your time... there's nothing like this present.
A Moodscope member.