Servant of Time

It’s amazing how, as some of us get older, we – knowingly or unknowingly – fall subservient to the tick-tick-tick of the 24-hour clock.

I’ve realized this even more so lately, given the recent change in my schedule because of work, appointments, etc., how dependent I am on having to be at a certain place, doing a certain things by a certain time.

Take today, for example. I barely caught the bus near my house, which usually begins the long trek I make to work each day (albeit at different times). The bus doors, which just closed, opened for me, and breathlessly, I made a point of saying thanks to the bus driver, to convey my gratitude for letting me on, and not driving off as some tend to do.

The bus driver instead replied with an unnecessarily snarky, “Time to get a watch.” As much as I wanted to say something in response, I let it go and proceeded to find my seat.

My morning routine, which is a complete blur in my mind, consists of working out at the gym with my trainer, followed by showering, dressing, putting my big clunky boots and huge winter jacket, lumbering to work, unloading my things, inhaling breakfast in the nearby food court, and plunking my body at my desk in time for the start of my shift at work.

From then on, I spend the next eight and a half hours working with – or, as I see it, constantly fighting against – time.

For a huge chunk of my day, I wear a stopwatch around my neck. To time how long things are. Where things stop and where they start. I’m constantly watching the wall clocks to gauge how much time I have, or have left, to complete tasks.

All this leads up to our show, which airs in the evening. The last hour and a half to show time always feels like a quarter of its worth, and yet it never feels like it’s enough.

The show itself is 26 minutes long, with a four-minute commercial break. But the first 15 minutes of that show feel like three.

And before I know it, it’s all over. But time doesn’t seem to slow down until about 20 minutes after that. When it finally does, it’s time to make the trek home again … which takes about 90 minutes. And then when I get home, instead of getting right to the tasks I have to do before I go to bed, I dawdle – much like I’m doing right now – and I end up hitting the pillow way later than I should.

Just thinking about what my day is like should depress me, a lot. But it only gets me down a little, because at the moment, I have no choice. I think my commute has a lot to do with it, because I often wonder what life would be like if I had a little more time.

But perhaps time is, in a way, like money – that no matter how much I have, it will never be enough.