“Wanna go for a walk?” my wife asks over my shoulder.
“I don’t have time for your walks, woman! I’ve got a city to run!” I exclaim as I frantically move the mouse around the screen to raise taxes on the rich so I can afford to build another statue of myself in the blossoming city of Velcro. I’d been absolutely engulfed in the popular city simulator SimCity 4 for about five hours already that day. Needless to say, my wife “convinced” me to hit the pause button on the game and join her back in reality, where I’m a software developer who has to go on walks to counter his poor eating habits.
We take time too seriously.
When we feel like we don’t have enough time, we complain. When we feel like we have too much time, we think we’re bored, and so we complain about that.
Maybe if we spent less time complaining, we’d have time to see how ridiculous we are.
Time is time. What’s there is there, and we’re not getting any more or less of it based on what we get accomplished in a given day.
…Unless of course what you accomplish is manipulating time in some manner. Or you create a serum to slow/expediate/stop the aging process. But those are side projects to talk about in another blog post on another day.
Back to SimCity 4. After I rediscovered the dusty game disc at my parents' house, the game completely absorbed me, even 10 years after it was originally released (my computer is finally powerful enough to play it). I didn’t mind that it was taking up so much of my time. I had a myriad of more conventional things I wanted to do that weekend: side projects to work on, books to read, TV shows to watch, internets to check, housework to do, groceries to buy, and meals to cook; but none of that mattered.
I repeat: none of that important-sounding stuff mattered. I had stumbled upon this completely arbitrary childhood memory to relive, so everything else took a back seat. I don’t regret all the hours I ended up spending on that game, as a kid or as an adult. A compulsive opportunity arose to have some fun and I snatched it up. I stopped worrying about time and decided to just enjoy myself. You should try it sometime. We spend way too much of our time trying to abide by our schedules and to-do lists. The best parts of life are when you stumble upon something that makes you completely forget what you were doing before you found it, and then continues to obliterate any plans you might have had for the rest of the day.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a city to run.