Sunday, March 7, 2010

Making Time

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. – Albert Einstein

Modern American life eats up a lot of our time. I’m sure that with the invention of electric washing machines and telephones and automobiles and microwaves and computers and… stuff, there were people thinking, “Wow, this is going to give folks more time.”

So what happened? How did we use up the extra free time? What happened after Grandma didn’t have to scrub on a wash board and ring out the water with rollers before hanging up the clothes? What happened after a chicken dinner no longer meant catching the chicken and going through a disgusting process of preparation before it made it to the table? What happened when going somewhere no longer meant working with a horse? Or walking where we had to go? It really hasn’t been that long ago.

I think about such things because my life is really busy during the week. I try to preserve the weekends, but sometimes that gets bitten into as well. I’m always plotting and scheming how I will manage to get exercise and meditate and make things and write. Every now and then I have committed the mistake of openly voicing frustration over finding the time for those favored things. A polite and gracious person will say something like, “I completely understand. I pray you can work that out.” But there is another reply that used to affect me like the sound of fingernails scraping across a chalkboard. Maybe the whole purpose of this experience was just simply to teach me to stop grumbling. That reply is, “You have to make time.”

That one phrase used to unleash a gnashing little dragon inside of me and I had to use my most powerful techniques of self control to subdue the creature. I do try to steer away from people who use that kind of response technique, but when you work in a public service job you can’t always pick and choose the people with whom you spend the day.

The fact is, making time, in the conventional sense, really just means taking time from something you already do and devoting it elsewhere. If your responsibilities are such that making time for something extra will eat into something you aren’t willing or able to give up, or even trim, then you have a problem. A problem you might be inclined to grumble about, upon which someone who is overwhelmed with their own problems might overhear you and say, “Well, you just have to make time.”

So, what’s to be done? About the time issue, that is? People who teach the Law of Attraction would say that you have to stop focusing on what is dragging you down and concentrate on how you want things to be. That takes a lot of mental fortitude, I must say, but I’m thinking maybe they are right. After a few unexpected and impromptu encounters with some “make-timers,” I decided that the universe was speaking to me through them. Sometimes a slap in the face snaps you out of trance better than a gentle nudge.

With recent budget cuts in the school system and the longstanding practice of assigning extra jobs to the librarian, my work has become increasingly more difficult to get finished within the allotted contracted time frame. (In other words, I do a lot of overtime.) Complaining and feeling sorry for one’s self definitely has no positive effect on a situation like that, except maybe to make one ill and get them some time off that way.

I decided to try the Law of Attraction philosophy here, thinking that maybe all it might do would be to settle me into just accepting ‘what is.’ And, that would have been okay with me. It’s not that LOA is something new to my system of thinking. It's just that I never thought about using it in this particular way.

I started repeating the affirmation, “I have more than enough time for all of my responsibilities and for myself.” Most recently I began incorporating subtle action* into my routine. I’ve teeter-tottered back and forth so much between despondency and my positive affirmations for the past couple of years that I’m sure the universe has been confused. But, in the past couple of weeks there appeared a small glimmer of hope, so unbelievably unexpected that I could not have imagined it. Three of my greatest difficulties at work have been affected. One is gone completely, the other is now changing, and the third is approaching change. I can now see the universe making time for me.

I’m quite sure that the people who ventured to tell me I just need to “make time” were not in any way referring to using the Law of Attraction, but they were unwittingly speaking to me from a higher place. I just had to figure it out.

I have indeed discovered the secret to making time.


*subtle action is a term created by Dr. Deepak Chopra to describe his method of using LOA