When it comes to time, I have multiple thoughts and feelings towards it. I tend to question the actual meaning of time, regret the time I have wasted over the years, and value the time that I have had with those around me. For me to question time, I feel like it is a way of me questioning my usage of it. The way I use my time is very poor. Do I use my time wisely? No. That is the straightforward answer. I don’t use my time productively as I should, and I need to change that. Do I want to change the way I utilise my time? Yes, without a doubt. Do I know where to start? That is the question that eats away at me because as much as I tell myself that I know where to start, the truth is I don’t.
What is time?
- Time is the measured or measurable period during which an action, process or condition exists.
Now, from doing research, there are endless explanations of what time is. Some people have their own beliefs about what time is. Some cultures see time differently, some countries do too. To say time is exactly one thing can be ignorant in a way, as there are studies that show multiple definitions and beliefs of what time is.
A few months ago, I was speaking with a friend who was teaching me about different topics. Topics where I can honestly say I had an ignorant mindset towards. Each topic revolved around them being social constructs. After the conversation it got me thinking about time and how it can also be a social construct. If I am honest, I didn’t know what a social construct was before that conversation.
I will try my best to explain what it is
What is a Social Construct?
- A social construct is developed within a society or group. They don’t represent objective reality but instead are meaningful only because people within the society or group accept that they have meaning.
An example of a social construct would be the ‘Law’.
The easiest way I can put it is that the Law is made by a group of people (politicians) who end up voting on whether to make a certain thing, part of the law. (I’m no expert, but you get the gist)
How is Time a Social Construct?
- One of the most fundamental examples of a socially manufactured object is time. We create the meaning of time as a group; it has no predefined meaning until we give it one. To suggest that something, such as time, is a social construction does not imply that it does not exist or that it is only an illusion, but rather that humans have established systems of meaning that produce the concept of time.
Everyone values time in different ways. Some people never care for time, whether it is other people’s time or their own. Some people care about every second of every minute. Some people are productive, but also wasteful with their time. The topic of time can be subjective.
If I am honest with myself, I have always struggled with managing my time with things for as long as I can remember. I would waste time on things that I shouldn’t have. Had I invested my time properly whilst I was younger, I truly believe that I would have a different mindset and attitude towards things, including life. With my education, I know for a fact that I could have done better if I was more motivated and sued my time outside of education more carefully. Instead of going out, playing PlayStation, or watching TV 7 Films, I could have put the effort into revision and doing my assignments.
Even though I tend to regret wasting time, I also feel that it is okay for someone to have time to themselves to enjoy and escape from the stresses that occur in their lives. However, there needs to be a balance. If there isn’t any balance, it will no longer be an escape method. It will instead be a way of running away from reality, running away from your problems, rather than facing them head-on.
I have never been able to connect with time. I know that it is important. I believe that it is crucial, in many aspects, if not all aspects of a person’s life. Without time, where would we be? How would we live without time? In my opinion, we can’t.
If there is one thing I can say for sure about the meaning of time, is that there is not enough time in the world. It doesn’t matter how much we do; we always crave more hours to be able to complete tasks. The reason I say this is because as humans we feel regret for not using our time properly, no matter who you are, no matter how busy you are. You could be the most productive person in the world, you would still feel annoyed with yourself for focussing on one thing for too long rather than using that time for something else. It’s human nature to feel regret or remorse in one way or another.
I can’t lie and say that I use my time wisely and value it 100% of the time, because I don’t. I know for a fact that I could use my time more proficiently. That is why I am writing this. To openly admit via writing helps me dramatically. It is like a weight lifted off of my shoulders. Even using my spare time correctly to sit down at my desk and write is something that I find difficult to do. Sometimes I feel like I just have to shut off from the world to focus to sit and write.
Everything I have written has been an open letter to myself, to be honest about the doubts that I have, to acknowledge my failures. This is for me to share those doubts and it enables me to speak about things that I find difficult to openly express to others. People have spoken to me about many things going on in my life, whether it is my health, my attitude towards things, my life. I never truly listen. It is hard to hear things from those closest to you that you already know yourself. I have never truly told people how I felt. Writing has enabled me to do that for people to understand my thought process is without having to physically speak about it.
My relationship with time needs to improve, in many ways. That could mean the way approach my professional working life, or just life in general. Time is something that needs to be valued by everyone. I value my time, but I have realised that I only value it when it best suits me. I hate my time being wasted, I always need to be on time for everything, even to go cinema. I’m one of those people who must be there for the trailers. When I am not on time, it could honestly turn me insane.
I need to value my time with my loved ones. Some tend to say that we have all the time in the world. When the reality is that we don’t. Time waits for no one. What truly motivates me to utilise my time better in all aspects of my life, is that tomorrow is never promised. As each day goes on, so does time. I need to make sure that I work on everything I have written in this piece. Where do I start? Who’s to say. Putting this out there is the first step.