What does it mean to have “free time”?
The other day, I was listening to the Team Human Podcast featuring KERAM MALICKI-SÁNCHEZ AND AMELIA WINGER-BEARSKIN.
Winter-Bearskin kept returning to this idea: “time is not real”. She didn’t mean you should smash your watch and stop showing up for appointments on time. What she meant was, maybe, that you stop thinking things like:
The way I have been thinking about this lately is I shouldn’t get frustrated when I feel like my life is slipping away. Each day I spend time with my family, or sitting in a chair on my deck, or working. None of this is taking time away from anything else. It is just what I am doing today, now.
People who know me personally know I always complain I don’t get enough time to sit on the deck, enjoying the sun. Yesterday, I got maybe 15 minutes of that. How did I spend those 15 minutes? Did I spend them flipping through Reddit posts on my phone? Or complaining about my job? Or being annoyed that my son wanted to interact with me instead of letting me enjoy the moment? NO! I sat there and tried not to think of anything past or future. I laughed with my son while he learned how to blow a balloon up and and it forced air back in his mouth. I enjoyed my wife’s delight as she picked ripening tomatoes from our garden.
What a way to spend 15 minutes! It felt like a whole day.
That is what she means by “time isn’t real”. And that is why there is no such thing as free time or wasted time. Just life. Just living. Moments you love and will never get back. Regrettable moments where you learn to live more skilfully. Moments where you turn and see the bus that is going to be the last thing you ever see. Just live your life, time isn’t real.