Have you ever seen an hourglass? If you’re not sure here’s a video that shows the concept (and there are lots of videos that show how you can make your own at home, maybe a fun summer project for the kids). So what is an hourglass? An hourglass counts down time visually, as the sand moves from one part to the other you know how much time has passed. This has been a way of keeping time that has been around for centuries.
Since then many other tools have been tried and used to help communicate and indicate how time is passing, but if I can be honest, I struggle greatly with traditional round clocks and with hourglasses. Why? Because it’s almost terrifying to see exactly how quickly time is passing. It makes the passage of time an incredibly real thing, more real than it seems just because we know we watched a 60 minute show on TV or spent our expected 8 hours at our place of employment. Somehow seeing the movement of time just makes it more real for me.
And as a result I don’t typically keep those types of devices around, because instead of getting things done I’d be too busy staring at them and panicking over how fast time is moving and how fast I’m not moving, which would be counterproductive and maybe even destructive.
Yes, I’m often amazed when the end of the day arrives or when I glance at the clock on my computer after a while and see how much time has passed, time does indeed move on and that’s why we need to be conscious about the people we choose to be with and things we choose to spend our time doing. But I don’t think we need to be so conscious of time passing or the potential for loss that we spend our entire lives panicking and trying to pack life into every last second of every day. Sometimes it’s the very things that are supposed to help us that end up just hurting us.
This weekend I encourage you to take a moment or two to consider your life and if you’re really using the tools that are available for their best purpose and if you’re using your time well or poorly. It may not be a case of throwing all the tools or ways you’re spending time out, just being more aware of how they’re supporting you (or not).