Please excuse me, I am asking for a moment of your time. This seems presumptuous for someone who has spent most of his adult life “never” having enough time. I know it seems overstated but trust me I never have enough time. It seems a chronic condition – no matter how far ahead, in short order falling behind circles back. Certainly, a tendency to say yes (do not want to disappoint anyone) and an ongoing difficulty to pronounce the word “no” (do not want to hurt another’s feelings) contribute to my ailment. Additionally, there is the ongoing distortion if I get this or that completed the illusive experience of calm and peace are waiting for me.
It seems I may fear peace and calm. Perhaps these fears partly explain working the ridiculous hours I have – maybe I could “buy” more time. Truth be told it has more likely served to shorten my time on this earth. Sure, there are moments of boredom and perhaps even periods of depression where life moves more slowly and yet I always return to the belief I am running out of time. One contribution to this chronic stressor is the belief I can do just one more thing. Of course, this has served to frustrate those around me as I have developed a consistent arriving 5 to 15 minutes late, because there was one more thing I knew I could squeeze in before leaving – “to save the time of doing it later.” This is the dilemma of never having enough time, if you avoid doing it now, you have to make time for it later.
This at times leads to never getting around to something, “there is not enough time,” which provides the wonderful excuse – “I did not have enough time.” There is a certain level of anxiety and stress this game with time creates. Yet it is this very experience of stress which drives me. I live life with intensity, rushing to accomplish, and yet looking as calm as a cucumber (although I have no earthly idea if cucumbers are emotionally calm and cool). I certainly would have written about this chronic condition earlier if I had enough time… As it turns out moving into my 60’s, there is a certain truth to this statement, “at 61 I am running out of time.”
Age has also promoted greater reflection, something you typically do not take time for when you are constantly “short on time.” I believe the truth is there has always been enough time, I just did not believe there was enough time for me (i.e., childhood belief). It must be time then to let go and grieve this relationship I have developed with time and move toward acceptance there has always been enough time. Acceptance in the reality I am not what I accomplish, rather I am an individual deserving of time to slow and just be. I could write more, but…well, you guessed it, I am out of time.
Subscribe to receive the latest stories, thought leadership, and growth strategies from PCS therapists.