Monday, October 3, 2011

Slaves to Time

By Miriam B. Medina

The clock is one of the oldest human inventions, "an instrument for measuring and indicating time; especially, a sizable mechanism having pointers that move over a dial marked off in hours."

The clock is a guide for just about anything we do. Repeatedly, during the day, we look at the clock. We watch it. We are governed by it. Be here then. Do such and such at this time. We are always hurrying. We hurry to eat breakfast. We hurry to drop the kids off at the bus stop or at school. We hurry to go to work, so we can hurry to our coffee break. We hurry back from the break, all the while glancing at the clock, counting the minutes until lunch time. We hurry to lunch, watching the clock as ever, to make sure that we can hurry back to work on time. Then as we are working, we are continually glancing at the clock, making sure we hurry up to accomplish what we are doing, so we can hurry home. Finally, rush out, walking hurriedly toward the stairs or elevator to take us out of the building. Everyone walks hurriedly past each other, without talking, not paying attention to one another, attempting to be the first one to get in their car. Suddenly, like a swarm of bees, cars, trucks, and buses from here, there, everywhere, all at the same time, hurrying to merge onto the main roads that will take them to wherever they are hurrying to go. All speeding, only to slow down to a snail's pace as they integrate into the "RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC JAM," the traveler's worst nightmare, bringing all the Hurry-Scurry to a sudden s-c-r-e-e-c-h-i-n-g stop.

Whew! That was close.

Therefore, the question is asked: "why does this always happen?

Because...Everyone who left their job and departed in a hurry were hurrying simultaneously to get to wherever they were in a hurry to go. Yikes! Oh dear, maybe I should have picked an easier topic to tackle. With all this hurrying and clock watching, I'm starting to feel anxious. I think I'll need a blood pressure pill to calm down. Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Goes the carousal of the Clock.

Frequently we will hear someone say "I'm so stressed out....there, are not enough hours in the day to do all the things which I have to do." My dear friend, first I'll just say that I am sorry that your life is so frustrating... However, I think it extremely uncomfortable to accept the fact that I am also guilty of this, because it sounds exactly like my life. Since, I have always been a multi-tasking person; I do many things at once. Even when I was a young mom with two children, I frequently lamented: I have a full-time job; I have to take the kids to soccer and baseball practice; I have to attend parent-teacher conferences; I have to watch their homework assignments to make sure they are correct, and so on and so forth. Whereas, I am now matured, but still with an almost unlimited amount of laments related to time. Between the hours that I spend at work, including commuting to and from work, and activities such as writing, researching, translating, and administrating an informative website and blog, I have no time, as the expression goes, "to smell the coffee." Even when I am tired, my mind will just not stop working. I envy those individuals who live disciplined lives, those who are able to go to bed at the same time every night. I tend to crowd in, with one eye on that final draft that I have to do. The stress and the daily grind of activities keep eating at me constantly, but I can not resist a challenge. Tackling a lesser amount of work sounds fantastic, but then I ask myself, how does this relate to what is existent in the world today? The impression of having two feet in one shoe is normal for me when I get up. Totally confused and drained of energy, I see nothing done on my days off. Because of my personal experience, I think I can qualify as an expert in this subject. According to my understanding of space, I have created my crazy time schedule, juggling things around in order to cram in as much as I can. So then, who do, I blame?

There is no one to blame but myself.

I am guilty of allowing my schedule to dictate how I spend my days and nights. So will complaining to an unwilling listener infuse a sympathetic reply? As a New Yorker would say: "Fugheddaboudit!" Then why am I wasting my time here?

So if, we do not like the frenetic life we live, then we need to make changes in the agenda and push ourselves to relax a little. I find the most effective forms of relaxation that work for me are walking, writing, soaking in a hot tub, and listening to calming music, such as sounds of nature, with delicate musical instruments in the background. However, the most important way to relax of all is to get plenty of good sleep. There is nothing better for overall relaxation than a decent night's sleep. Is this possible? If we go to bed all tensed up, worried about what has to be done the next day, we will generate disturbed sleep, which will not only make us wake up aggravated and surly, but may also increase our blood pressure. So then we are defeating the purpose. I am fully aware that with all this hurry-scurry, I am perpetually building up vital health issues. Most diseases are caused by a direct result of stress. When we are anxious, we work at a significantly reduced size of efficiency. Through relaxation, we can learn to conserve our energy. Tension in itself is not harmful to us; however, the constant stress that we subject our body to is what is dangerous.

Oh no, speaking of time, is it that time already? Now I know I'm going to be late. Sorry, I have to run. See ya!

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