Time is a funny thing. We spend so much of it doing shit we don’t really care for, hoping for it to slip by as quickly as possible, only to arrive at a point in our lives where we wish we had more of it.
Everyone has experienced time’s subjectivity. Lost in something you love, it blows by. Engaged in a job you hate, it crawls.
But is any of it actually real?
For whatever reasons, humans love to measure cycles and quantify everything in existence – years, seasons, calories, meltdowns by Britney Spears, you name it.
What’s the obsession all about? Part of it might be comfort – knowing the sun will rise again, the snow will melt, a new American Idol will be crowned. Part of it might be perspective – a way to measure progress and growth, whether it’s the size of your bank account or length of your dick.
Part of it comes down to an unhealthy fixation on a stupid little machine. Tiny gears, springs, quartz crystals, and the numbers 1 through 12, cleverly crafted into a limitless variety of designs and styles that all do the same thing – repeat an endless cycle, over and over and over for as long as a spring stays wound, a battery stays charged, or an electrical bill is timely paid.
Would the inventors of a shadow clock ever have conceived the notion of their device perpetually strapped to their wrist? To be displayed prominently in every room or incorporated into every subsequent invention created?
That simple little counter has become a far greater tyrant and dictator than any of the Adolfs we may have encountered over the years. Three or four glowing numbers have become our master. We may sheepishly ask our digital overlords once or twice in the morning for a momentary reprieve from our duties as we tap the snooze button, but when we don’t obey their ultimate rule, consequences must be endured. Tardiness will be punished, either through self-guilt or the sanctions of others.
Have you noticed we didn’t choose a name like rising clock, or notification clock, or reminder clock? Nope. We chose “alarm” clock – an imminent approach of danger. Every alarm system, warning bell, or siren I’ve encountered since childhood has not been the mark of a good thing. They are reasons for the heart to start racing and anxiety levels to kick into overdrive. Does it not seem odd that this is the method we have chosen to start our day? Instead of allowing the body to ease into consciousness of its own accord, we’ve chosen shrill, piercing, ear-splitting sounds to jolt us awake. What could be a healthier commencement than a shock of morning adrenaline and good ol’ cup o’ joe? No wonder we’re so fucked up. It begs a serious question: “What kind of unnatural and exhaustive lifestyles are we enduring to need someone shouting in our ears at the top of their lungs in order to break our slumber?”
So a day of bullying begins. When my clock says 9, I start work. When it says 12, I eat. When it says 5, I can go home. When it says 6, I feed the kids. When it says 7, we watch TV. When it says 8, I take a dump.
To most people this is considered normal behaviour. Time is real and the system to keep us coordinated ticks on.
But a clock is just a fucking machine – a fancier and more compact version of a shadow clock, but instead of being governed by the sun, its settings are controlled by man. In order to function responsibly, the time machines must be respected and kept synchronized. If your loving government decides every once in a while to arbitrarily change the system by bouncing you an hour forward or backward when they see fit, you’ll conform and adjust sooner or later. Time is real – as long as you agree to whatever you’re told it is.
In the typical mind-fuck programming of Western society, while on one hand being told how precious and valuable time is, our fabulous media continues its phenomenal job teaching us how to effectively kill it. Here’s a stupid fucking game for your phone, play that while waiting for your doctor to jab toxins into your arm. Here’s an insulting jumble puzzle in your newspaper, figure that out instead of planning how to leave your shitty job. Here’s an an endless barrage of links and images and teasers for you to explore – best look into these recommended trends and news items of the day lest you find yourself uninformed and ignorant around the water cooler. And don’t forget to check in on the latest shenanigans of your Facebook friends. Status’s may have changed in the past 20 minutes.
Well I have some trending news of my own for you.
We’ve been sold a fucking lie – time is bullshit. Clocks don’t tell time. They’re little stupid machines that spin or glow, or both.
You know what time it is?
Right fucking now.
It’s always right now. Always has been and always will be. When you realize that, you’ll start to make some progress breaking out of your self-imposed shackles.
Now is the time to get your shit together and start living the way you’ve always wanted. Now is the time to discard all the shitty habits and lifestyle choices that keep your brain fogged and body ill. Now is the time to follow through with that certain something that calls to you, but you never found the balls to pull the trigger on.
I’m not an entirely impractical dreamer. I get the schedules and responsibilites and all the other bullshit. If we keep choosing to play our society game, rules will always be in place. But if you find yourself miserable for whatever reason, perhaps time to make up some new rules for yourself.
Take a weekend off. Grab your tent, and leave your cell phone at home. Spend a couple days with no agenda and no reason to ask the time. You’ll know it’s time to eat when you’re hungry. You’ll know it’s time to sleep when you’re tired. You’ll know it’s time to get laid when the babe at the campground beside you brings over a six pack of beer and takes her clothes off.
You don’t need a mechanical secretary to keep your life in order. Every step you take in the direction of freedom will bring you closer to becoming the entity you want to be.
So take a time-out once in a while and do a little genuine living – right here, right now.
Your dreams don’t lie in the future, you create them now.
Get to it, it’s time.