Aug 2, 2007

The Pursuit of Time

I've been thinking...
Time. If I could really simplify my life to it's fullest potential, would I have more or less free time? What is free time anyway? I always thought that simplicity would require less time. In other words, as our lives became less cluttered with stuff, we would have more time to enjoy the things that mattered. Unfortunately, this threw me into a bit of a tailspin.
As I am beginning to un-learn the "more is better" approach to life, I am becoming aware that I don't really know what matters to me, outside of a few obvious things (i.e. God, Family, Friends, the Environment). So, like I always do, I have begun to obsessively pursue an answer, but finding out what matters most is a tough proposition. Life is always in flux, what matters now may only matter for a short time. Other thing may always matter. So what am I trying to find this time for anyway?
I'm not exactly certain what the answer is or if there even is an answer. But, I am beginning to understand this...
Simplicity does not often yield time. In fact, it often requires more time to take a simple and constructive approach to life. So, maybe, more time is not what is important. Maybe, like the Amish have found, simplicity lies in hard work and close ties to the community around us. By making a little place in the world with our friends simplicity can be found. Then all time will be free, because all of our time will be focused on the BIG things, the never-changing things that matter.

4 comments:

nea said...

you answered your own question, really, because even though it sounds like you think that something else needs to matter more to you, beyond "the obvious," my response is "why?" those obvious matters you listed are major and each so fulfilling, that putting them all together could be enough. should be enough really.

please don't take this response in the wrong way. it is also just a thinking out loud process for myself, because i agree...simplicity seems like it should yield time, but often takes time. if i need something and don't want to run out and buy it, it may take me time to make it or to mdify something else to use instead. partly because, for me, simplicity and frugality must go hand in hand. that said, sometimes it does give me time, either because i decide i can do without whatever it was or it in doing something myself, i enjoy time with family, enjoy nature around me, or feel (spriritually) fulfilled.

Mama Bear said...

I think when your life is truly simple, you don't worry about time. I see the simple life as being able to enjoy life as it is, without worrying about how much time is left because the days should stretch out forever and seem so short at the same time. :)

Caren said...

Have you read the Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh? He talks about the mysterious truth that if we approach everything we do with mindfulness, then everything we do will be "our time" (as opposed to "Now I'm going to do the dishes, then I'm going to have time for myself.) I find that perspective to be so liberating. If you haven't read it, I'd recommend it... It's a short read and a real gem.

Matt said...

Caren,

That sounds really interesting, I'm going to check it out. Thanks for the teaser.