Worrying About Time

Author Marney Makridakis discusses the implications that time has on everyone's life.

Try this: Imagine who you would be if you didn’t worry about time. How might your life be different? I surveyed fifty-two people, and the results revealed that 90 percent felt “somewhat anxious” to “significantly anxious” about time. What’s even more startling is that these results don’t even seem all that surprising. Anxiety about time is very much a part of most of our lives. Think back to a time when you greeted a casual acquaintance and asked how he was, and he said, “Great! Things are fantastic!”

It can be almost jarring when someone responds so positively. Somehow we’re more conditioned to expect to hear people complain that they are tired, or sigh that they are busy.

It’s helpful to dig deeply to figure out what is at the root of our problems with time. Why do we overschedule ourselves? Why do we want to be so busy? Why are we so consumed with time? Why does it seem so “normal” to worry about time so much? Why is it easier to be caught up in a drama about time than it is to be released from it?

In short, what is the payoff for worrying about time?

When I examine this question myself, I can recognize that the more I complain about time, the more I block my ability to accept and express love and connection. Violette Clark shared, “I suppose not having enough time, or the illusion of believing this, makes us feel important. I also realize it keeps me safe. There have been a lot of dreams that I’ve accomplished, including publishing a book, but there have been a lot of balls that I’ve dropped, too, in the name of ‘not having enough time.’ Putting myself out there more fully means more potential for rejection. Sometimes not ‘going for my dreams’ is safer.”

Similarly, artist Peggy Lynn boldly admitted that time complaints are related to ego: “The ‘I’m too busy’ implication does stroke the ego: ‘Oh, look at me — busy, busy, busy!’” A workshop participant shared that her worries about time give her an excuse and an outside source for not following her dreams. She said, “I’ve never been someone who likes to blame, but now I suddenly realize that I’ve actually been blaming time. I don’t have enough time, and so that’s why I don’t go after this dream, or that’s why I haven’t tried this or followed up on that. Then it’s not my fault. This was a big discovery for me!”

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Marney Makridakis
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