THE CONCEPT OF “TIME” IN QUARANTINE

Hootie and the Blowfish’s 1995 song “Time” carries a line still relevant today. Here goes:

Can you teach me about tomorrow
And all the pain and sorrow, running free?
Cause tomorrow’s just another day
And I don’t believe in time

For most of us, May will be the third month of coronavirus lock down. Initially, the thought of being quarantined at home sounded like a good idea: plenty of technology, WiFi, and spare time to keep us busy. As the present situation shows no sign of cessation, reality is setting in that it will be a while before things return to the normal we knew. For some of us, those are familiar outlets to pass the time, but for others of us, we need more. The concept of time creates a high degree of anxiety that is hard to manage.

Photo by Ola Dapo on Pexels.com

For those amongst us focused on development, technology is an enemy and distraction. Sure, social media platforms keep us connected with others, but for me it’s a distraction from advancement. More than ever, we are consumed by headlines, trends, and what somebody said. Instead, we should be focused on the opportunity plainly in front of us: the absolute ability to develop ourselves. We no longer–at least for now–have to contend with difficult commutes. What if that 30 minutes was used to do something else besides sleep in? What if, instead of immediately turning on our phones or TV, thought about the things we were grateful for? Or, thought about the missed opportunities from the day before and fought to resolve them on this new day. Indeed, “tomorrow’s just another day,” but what if it didn’t have to be?

Throughout the day, we find ourselves consumed with silence, but how that silence is filled matters. Are you listening to that silence or looking to fill it with something? Personally speaking, I’ve filled it with unnecessary distractions that only accelerate the already present anxious feeling that is all around. To express and relive that emotion I should be reading and writing, but fear of failure and not living up to some arbitrary perception of perfection keeps my hands still and typewriter quiet. Instead of being loud inside and quiet outside, I prefer the antithesis of that. Loud outside means I’m creating and can reap the inner peace of a relaxed soul.

I suppose my objective in writing this is to pose the question: During this time of quarantine, how are you spending “your” time? Are you listening to yourself or are you listening to some distraction? Everyday poses its own challenges, as unique as clouds or the wind, but what we do matters. How often have we dreamt of doing something, but couldn’t due to lack of time? “Time” is one thing we have plenty of in our present state. Even if today, we don’t accomplish or achieve what we sought, “tomorrow’s just another day” to strive to overcome where we fell short. Like Hootie, “I don’t believe in time” either, but I believe in time well spent whether consumed in self-reflection, deep thought, making amends, or enjoying a loved one’s company. Time incoherently spent is time wasted and given the incredible amount of time we have now, it shouldn’t be idled away. 

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