Written by Rhaiza Ebel, a VAL English Language Learning Student from Brazil
“A lot of people use watches, only a few with time.” I do not know the author of this phrase, however, it makes me think about it. Before the pandemic, I had heard a lot of people (me included) saying: “I don’t have time to do this,” but is this true? Or is this just us saying no for something in a “educated/polite” way? Or this is us not giving/wanting the “right” attention for something? Saying “no” to a friend or parents who need/want to talk, saying “no” to a dog asking for attention, saying “no” even to ourselves when we do not self-care? Not only talking about make-up or some esthetics procedures, I am talking about taking a good shower, baking or cooking good and healthy food, not eating too much sugar, doing a regular work out, reading a good book, listening to good music with some wine….
Our body, our hormones were conditioned to follow the light of the sun. When the sun goes up, we should wake up and when the sun goes down, we should sleep. People used to wait hours for the food to get ready, because people used to cook from scratch. People used to wait weeks to receive an answer on mail. For a while, this way had worked pretty well, but after the human being had created the watch, we started to put all our attention on it. What time is it? What time should I wake up to get to work at 8am? How long will my food, that I had ordered, take to arrive? We had started to be addicted to it. We are not able to spend one morning without checking the clock. Even just to check if the time is flying or if it’s just not passing. We are always in a rush thinking where we should go or what we should do after something. We are always thinking about “after” and not having time for now. Is the time the same or faster than before with all this technology?
According to Albert Einstein: “Time is relative” and it is impossible not to remember this phrase when the subject is time. The same one minute for me is different for another person. Who disagrees with this should stare at one minute on the microwave; do one minute on “plank” working out, read a really good book in one minute, or so on. For me, the time is going on the same rhythm as before but this sensation about “not having time for anything” is just ourselves not giving too much value for the time. During this quarantine I could realize how much time we spend on internet or Netflix or thinking about the future versus how much time we really spend with us doing things that we love; living the present, enjoying it, breaking our rush, fighting to our own monsters, living with all our thoughts, breathing, surviving. Time had, has and will have the same rhythm always; we are responsible to put us in this same rhythm and live it now. Because:
“Maybe there is no certain way to be happy. Maybe there are only maybes. If (as Emily Dickinson said) ‘Forever – is composed of Nows –,’ maybe the nows are made of maybes. Maybe the point of life is to give up certainty and to embrace life’s beautiful uncertainty,” Wrote Matt Haig.
Note: Rhaiza’s essay was recently published in The Change Agent.