Four letters that surely stand for The International Manifestation of Evil.
There just never seems to be enough of it. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, eight of those dedicated to sleeping (well ideally, anyways), another eight of those easily consumed by work or school, and just eight more leftover for things like eating, chores, TV, and hobbies. And I’m sure you all know how fast an hour can go by when you’re having fun.
And so, because most of our day’s time goes to things that are less than enjoyable, and because there doesn’t seem an adequate amount of hours left to do everything you want to do, the unhappiness sets in. Stress, desperation, all-nighters, procrastination… a whole ugly slew of unpleasant matters, all thanks to time. That’s the “manifestation of evil” part.
I feel like I never have time to write blog posts anymore. Funny thing is, I used to write a blog post every other day.
I feel like I never have time to write 2000 words a day anymore. Funny thing is, I used to write 2000 words every single day.
I feel like I never have time to watch an hour of TV anymore. Funny thing is, I used to watch two episodes of Phineas and Ferb every afternoon.
As they say: if you don’t have time to do what you love, make time.
We have to stop letting T.I.M.E. be The International Manifestation of Evil, and make it into The International Measure of Enjoyment.
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone,” Pablo Picasso once said, but heck, that’s easier said than done. Tons of people have bucket lists, in which they write their aspirations and goals they hope to achieve before they die. There’s no way you can do everything on your bucket list in one day, but are the things on your list things you can die without doing?
And unfortunately, we can’t choose when we die. We might each have eighty years, or we might keel over tomorrow. You simply can’t predict it. On one hand, that’s terrifying. You never know how much time you’ll have to do the things you want to. On the other hand, it’s inspiring, prompting you to go out and do what you love with the time you’ve got. Priorities must be made. We have to do with our spare time the things we need to do before we die. Sadly, we also have to do laundry every week, whether we want to or not, because society and family members demand that we wear clothes that smell at least somewhat decent.
But what are we supposed to do? It goes back to that impossible question: Why are we here? Nobody can answer that question, so we have the delightful freedom of being able to determine for ourselves our purpose for being here.
So what is my purpose? What must I do today that I couldn’t die not having done?
I would say writing a book and getting it published. If I could just do that before I died, I would be a pretty happy lady. But if I were to die, say, tomorrow, I wouldn’t have nearly enough time to publish a book. I can only depend on having the very second I’m presently experiencing. That’s the only time I have at my disposal, and I can’t predict how many consecutive seconds I’m going to have.
So if there’s one thing I have to do, one thing I know I can do before I die, it’s to be happy. Smile. Laugh. Because it takes one little second to think a good thought. To shape your face into a broad grin or push joy out of your lungs in a genuine laugh. It takes just a couple seconds to write a sentence, too, and writing makes me very happy. Reading’s a quick task as well, and whole poems can be consumed in less than a minute.
If today was my very last day to do anything, I know I wouldn’t be able to do anything spectacular, because I can’t change how many hours are in a day. But there are plenty of little things I could do to make me a little happier, and that’s what I want my purpose to be. I don’t want to put off being happy till tomorrow, ’cause I couldn’t possibly die not having done it today.
I haven’t had as much time as I’d like lately to blog, or to write, or to watch TV, or to do many of the things I’d like to do before I die. And yesterday, for the first time in several months, I was feeling a little stressed out because I realized that a disproportionate amount of my daily time was going towards things I hated doing. But yesterday I also found a few seconds to smile, to think of something good and be happy. When I pause to tie my shoes, or am brushing my teeth, I have a brief pause in which the time is all my own. I have the power to use it to be happy.
It’s not always easy, heck no. There are a lot of sucky days where you’re wading through three feet of other people’s crap and nothing goes right and you don’t know if you should cry, or scream, or just punch your fist through a wall because that might possibly make you feel better, and the very last thing you want to do is anything at all. You just want to lie down and go to sleep and be done with your crappy day.
I can’t express how great a feeling it is to go to bed looking forward to tomorrow’s smile. Maybe you know the feeling. I sincerely hope you do. But it’s so tremendously great to lie in bed at the end of a hellish day and be happy because I know that even after such an awful twenty-four hours, I can look forward to happiness tomorrow.
Because if I’m given even one second tomorrow to do something, I’m going to make sure I smile.
I can do that.
What do you do every day that makes you happy?
May you make time for the things that matter most and never waste the seconds you’re given.
PS: And speaking of time, it’s been a whole year since I wrote my first blog post on Valourbörn! Happy birthday little bloggy :)