Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Time is a Tyrant - 22 June 2013

Do you feel like you always have a long ‘to do’ list? Always too rushed? On Saturday, I learnt an important lesson, and I hope it woke me up to some extent the fact that I spend too many continuous hours juggling too many things at the same time.

It’s a rare occasion to have my parents and mom-in-law staying for a weekend at my place. So I tried to kill all birds with one stone, planning a flurry of activities, cooking and two birthdays. What-you-call-it? – ‘putting too much on my plate’.

Parent-Teacher Dialogue & Exhibition Day

By late afternoon, there were obviously signs of burning out, but I was too efficient ticking off my ‘to-do’ list to notice them. I read that people who perceive life in a 'time-urgent' way tend to be excessively worried about schedules, keeping overly tight deadlines, rushing when rushing is not necessary, doing several activities at the same time, sometimes forgetting to take time to really enjoy work and play. That described me well, and people like me fall into a greater risk of heart problems cos we constantly keep our bodies at high anxiety and stress levels. There’s a name for it when I was working – ‘multi-tasking’, isn’t it what we’re supposed to do to be productive and efficient?

Making rice dumpling - Never too old to learn & never too young to start!

One consolation though, our city was not shrouded in haze that day, and only the following day, the haze situation worsened. So we’re fortunate to see the blooming flowers and float parade at FLORIA, Putrajaya on the opening day. But I wonder if I notice the roses along the path of life, since my eyes are always on the goal? It’s not a pleasant time for me managing different needs of young and old at an overcrowded FLORIA.

My mom & MIL feasting their eyes on the flowers

Being overly time-oriented is like an itch I can’t resist scratching, even though scratching always makes it worse. Strange that how the concept of time has changed from the earlier societies. To the ancient, time is seen in a process of natural change, the passage from season to season, day and night. Now, time sets the tempo of our lives, turning from a process of nature into a commodity that can be measured and bought and sold. That’s how, with exact time-keeping, industrial capitalism emerged. The clock actually has a bearing on the development of civilisation. 

Time is a useful concept, especially for organising and planning, but it has become a tyrant or boss in our head.

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