In 1964 The Rolling Stones declared that: “Time Is On My Side” on a b-side single. Despite this short bit of wisdom that resonated through the pop culture a little over 40 years ago, many of us fail to heed that message. We tend to get caught up in the limiting belief that there is not enough time for everything in life.
The truth is that time is an illusion. Physicists know this (recall the space-time continuum from your high school or college intro course). And, as Eckhart Tolle puts it (paraphrase): “We may use clock-time for practical purposes, but there is no future and no past. There is only the now.”
The truth is that life evolves moment to moment. While it is certainly helpful to use a planner or digital calendar to schedule commitments using clock time, that technique has its limitations and often leads to frustration and anxiety when we hold the schedule too tightly. What I find more workable is to use a digital calendar to schedule meetings, phone calls, and action items each day, while also being flexible as the inevitable vicissitudes of life show up.
For example, on Monday I was “scheduled” to depart the Baltimore airport at 7:40 pm to return home after visiting friends and colleagues in that historic city over the weekend. Now, it happens that severe thunderstorms accosted the airport before, during, and after the scheduled departure. With all air traffic grounded, I “spent” five hours at BWI waiting for a plane to arrive from Hartford to take me home to FL. That plane never arrived. So, my good friend rescued me from the bowels of the Southwest concourse, we shared a glass of wine together, I worked from her house yesterday, and made it home last night. And, during the 5 hours at BWI, I “took” the time to review my journal of the past few months and reflect on all that I had accomplished. I also was able to “bring forward” some ideas and items that I had overlooked. In the past, I would have been disappointed by this “waste” of time.
When I am caught up in clock time angst, I find it helpful to recall Jesus’ admonition to: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Time and money scarcity are among the most pernicious beliefs that afflict fundraisers today. So I’m curious: when the clock starts running your life, how do YOU deal with it?