Time makes friends become strangers and binds strangers together. How else do you explain two people becoming inseparable after a two-hour date? Or two hearts growing apart after decades of marriage?
You see, I’ve never liked time, he’s always seemed like a taskmaster – forcing me to run around to get an inexhaustible list of things done in 24 hours. Adulting, anyone? Time is like oats for me – a disliked childhood meal. I remember saying to myself “what a waste” as I watched my grandma pour lavish helpings of milk into the oats during breakfast while I wished it was cornflakes instead.
But time is not the enemy here, you are. Your doubts, procrastination, indiscipline and everything else you have invited into your life is the reason you’re upset that time is passing by when you haven’t started the business, finished your doctorate degree or, if you’re like me, haven’t started sharing the stories you want to tell. Time is simply doing his job and reminding you to live your dreams – well, maybe he’s a little stingy for not dishing out an extra hour even when you have a deadline and you’re running late.
Time reminds me I can’t do all things but also that I can do something as the hourglass slowly trickles to a finish. Time helps me fulfill purpose and reminds me not to waste my days.
Time has been kind to me. He’s shown me how far I’ve come on my journey, especially when Facebook sends me a notification for memories from years ago. For me, a lot has changed – like my weight and yet nothing has changed – like my love for black and white photographs. He tells me why I shouldn’t have procrastinated those projects because I was waiting for a larger audience before executing them. He is the reason I’ll travel light in my thirties after lifting the baggage of heartbreaks and disappointments that weighed me down as a teenager.
Time reminds me to put in the work and teaches me that self-love is important because you only live once. So I take one day off a week to sleep in, spend some time scrolling on social media and laugh at hilarious memes. When I sink into my bed at night, time lets me engage God in a conversation with the last 10 minutes of my day with gratitude for having survived another day.
Time is not the enemy for me because after all the hours I’ve wasted in the comparison trap when I should be writing, and the minutes I wasted taking down my first blog, the sun still rises. Time shows me my mistakes and converts my errors from over the years into a wealth of knowledge – a bank of resources on navigating failures and avoiding pitfalls. Without judging me for my time crimes and for shortchanging my hours, time knocks on my door and gifts me another 24 hours. If that’s not love, what is?
I want to be friends with time. This is something the nine-year-old me would never believe, just like I’m craving oats right now. I recognise time as a grudging acquaintance now, so I set alarms on my phone, reminders for tasks that need to be done each day and go to bed earlier. But time, like most friendships, is a learning curve – you have to get to know the other person. Now I know time won’t hurt me if I miss out on writing when my alarm goes off. Still, I honour this gift by not wasting the next 3 hours reading Twitter threads and trying to untangle the latest celebrity drama.
How’s your own relationship with time? Time is not my enemy anymore. We’re not friends yet – I’m yet to get two extra hours on the weekends – but there’s respect between us. I’m not sure what to call this relationship, but time is definitely not the enemy.