The March Hare: “The time! The time! Who’s got the time?”
In high school, it was simple: wake up, go to school, hang out with friends, go to work, go on dates, do homework, hang out with parents, take some breaks for mental health, volunteer (because it looks good on university applications), be active, eat, and sleep for eight hours. Wake up, repeat.
And if you don’t do every last thing on that list, then you’re slacking off. You aren’t doing well enough. What are you doing? You need to get up, smarten up, and think about the future. What are you going to do if you fail at one of these things? What sort of adult are you going to be? Do you even care about your future?
Mad Hatter: If you knew Time as well as I do, you wouldn’t talk about wasting it. It’s him.
Alice: I don’t know what you mean.
Mad Hatter: Of course you don’t! I dare say, you never even spoke to Time!
Alice: Perhaps not, but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.
Mad Hatter: Ah! That accounts for it. He won’t stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he’d do almost anything you liked with the clock.
I think I must have pissed “Time” off at some point.
In university, it got even simpler: wake up, eat healthy (because, if you don’t, you’re going to gain weight and feel awful), go to classes, do five hours worth of reading a day, exercise, write essays, go to work, hang out with friends, go to parties, develop a small drinking problem (because everyone else is doing it), go on dates, spend time with your parents, try to build your own life, come up with the final answer for what you’re going to do with the rest of your life, volunteer (because it makes you look better for future jobs), work on your passions even if they don’t pay anything, take breaks for your mental health—because, if you don’t, then the crushing weight of everything that you have to do is going to descend upon you.
Them: So, have you been going on any good dates lately?
Me: No, I don’t have the time.
Them: Really? That wouldn’t stop me!
The future better be f*cking spectacular, because I seem to be living exclusively for it.
When university ended, it became even less okay to not have any time. They say that we aren’t kids anymore; we need to get serious. This is our life—the only life that we’re ever going to live—and we’d better do everything with it.
Wake up. Go to work. Plan out the future—because you didn’t actually have time to do that in university. Volunteer, because it looks better for the kind of job that you actually want to have. Hang out with friends. Go on dates. Work toward your passions. Exercise. Eat healthy—because there’s still that problem of feeling awful if you don’t. Build your own life. Take breaks for mental health. Don’t give into the existential crisis waiting for you at night when you turn out the lights and lie alone in your bed.
I make plans. I work hard. I do everything I can to work toward my goals—and so what if I don’t do anything else?
Who has the time?
But perhaps, for the things that we miss today, their time will come tomorrow…
Perhaps, what we need is not time, but patience. Perhaps, there is a time for everything, and everything else will come. Perhaps, we’re struggling to cram a life into a minute—but all good things come to those who wait.
For the time being, we make time for the things that are important. For the time being, enjoy what you have now, and work hard for the things that you want.
For the time being, settle down and prepare to wait—because while there feels like there is very little time right now, there is still plenty of time to make the best of the time you have.
Author: Ciara Hall
Image: Flickr/Russ Sanderlin
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis