The problem with time is…

Posted by Yashika Totlani Khanna on 6:02 AM

This existential question arises and haunts everyone at some point in their lives - the actual problem with time. Is there really a problem with time? When do we start feeling it? Is it truly a concept or just a myth? What is the problem with time in the first place? Well, here’s the answer. The problem with time is – that there is just too much of it.

Who are the people who don’t feel it? Young students, young professionals, new couples, young parents, and basically all people young. Too much to do in too little time, too many things to accomplish in a constant adrenaline rush. Time is an essential and handy commodity in their lives. And they never seem to have enough of it. Students don’t seem to have enough time before exams to study. Young professionals are so busy earning money that they have no time for friends or family or leisure. Young couples are so much in love that life is a steady breeze of happiness and joy. No full stops and no ends. Young parents barely have time to look in the mirror, let alone sleep!

So who are the poor ones who feel that there is enough time in life for everything? Well, we’ll start with the next stages in life for all of the people mentioned above. Students graduate, professionals feel burnout and decide to take it slow, couples get old and boring, kids grow up and young parents don’t feel young anymore when time seems to stretch on endlessly as they wait for their kid to get back home from a night-out with friends. But there is also this other breed to people who feel that there is ample time in life to live, love and flourish. Those stuck in a time-travel spectrum, where their spouse is super busy and they are super free. There are also those who have retired from their jobs and are trying to find new meaning and a newer purpose in life. Then there are those who are sick and out of activity, those who can’t seem to know what to do with their time. There are the elderly whose kids have grown up and now have their own families demanding their own priorities. As they come in terms with their decreased utility in life, they find newer ways and newer places of solace (mostly in religion and same-aged company) to fill their time.

What happens when time comes to a naught? Let us not confuse this concept with the lives of people who seems to have developed routines. A ‘routine’ is the anti-dote to boredom and the endlessly stretched passages of time. Routines are developed to fight loneliness, unproductiveness and monotony. It is also the best thing to ever happen to someone who can’t seem to find a direction amidst all the extra time and space. Routine is what keeps strays from becoming strays. Routine regulates life and it ultimately also leads to more successful outcomes. But despite all the benefits, routine is boring and hard to embrace. For those who do, life is easier to sail through as compared to those others who seek their daily doses of thrill, excitement and change.

So what does one do (with a lot of time) to fill up that routine chart? Well that mostly depends on your age, interests and lifestyle. But some generic tips never fail for work. First, find company. Find similar people who are stuck at a similar place in life like you. Talk to them, share your feelings with them, bond with them socially and try to do activities together. A vacation, an evening walk, a daily 30-minute chat session, meet up at a bar, or meet up at the local library or grocery store. But do meet up. And talk away the blues (this trick seems to work with both genders alike).

Second, fall in love with your own company. Lucky are those few who have learnt this lesson early on in life. But those who are taught this the hard way in later stages - worry not! It’s never too late to fall in love with yourself. Engage yourself in intelligent thoughts, read good material, enrich that brain, watch good television programming, work out and keep yourself healthy, pamper yourself, invest money in looking good and good clothes, save for retirement, take health care seriously – it is only when you enjoy your own company and accord due respect to yourself that other will do the same and follow suit. Carve out some me-time every day to get into the habit of loving yourself. Don’t be afraid of spending time alone. If you can harden yourself up to the challenge once, it will become a lifetime asset.

And lastly, have fun. Enjoy whatever you do. It could be travelling, reading, catching up with friends or family, organizing events, contributing artistically to the world (in your writings or paintings), learning a new skill, improving your existing skills (never too late to work on and enhance your culinary style!), stay busy, stay active and you will realize that your are much happier. Because true joy lies in bringing out the best from within yourself and offering it to others to make their lives better too. True joy lies in hard-work, fun and camaraderie. It lies in being kind, polite and productive. Happiness emanates from staying true from within and giving life your best shot - in school, at work, at home and in retirement. It also lies in pursuing your passions, designing the life that you want and treating yourself and others with respect. Happy living :)


Nicely written. A philosophical introspective post. I am alas in the first category of people who right now cant seem to have enough time. Your analysis though is correct. We have phases when the clock seems to zip by and when it just looks as if it is crawling. I also liked the analysis around routines and how they enable people to stave of some boredom. Ultimately though it is about interests and passions. We live to enjoy and enrich - and as long as we find things that can keep us engaged, we should not be wary of the clock. Look out or within, engage with others or yourself, find interests and excitement that is personal to you, and time will be a friend for sure :)
Enjoyed the post. Relaxed me for sure :)

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