What Is Time?

What Is Time - LeBlanc Wellness Consulting

What Is Time?

I thought I never  had enough time when I was working and now that I am retired from my clinical surgical practice, I think I have more time. I am always being asked: “What do you do with your time?”  Do I really have more time than before.  How can I define time?  There are many approaches toward understanding the phenomenon of time. We perceive time as past, present, and future. The most real perception of time appears to be in the moment we call present.  It is also where we feel we live. But as time flows, this idea of fixed past, immediate present and open future gets carried forward in time. It becomes our life’s story.

In physics, time plays a major role in measurement of motion and forces but time is more than physic, it is also chronological, circumstances, workload,  schedule, thoughts, values and much more.

Time is a real phenomenon of a continuous change through which we live. Time becomes evident through motion such as sunrise sunsets, night and day, the changing seasons and so on.  Then, the aging process is a reminder of time and retirement becomes intrinsically intertwined with it. Aspects of life expectancy, longevity, life extension strategies, and death itself become very present.

Time is an essential ingredient of both everyday life and all manner of  thought  process in terms of values, meanings, experiences. Time management is the process of priorizing, planning and organizing our life, professional and private. Time management treats time as a scarce resource which needs to be managed for optimal efficiency. Time in different cultures looks at the fact that different cultures and societies have significantly different attitudes towards time, timekeeping and punctuality, and how and why the pace of life differs in different countries.  Eternity, and the related concept of immortality, can be a difficult concept of time to grasp but is real.

One may have the feeling that ageing people (including us, the “retirees”) participate less in social activities and their social network decreases somewhat over time. Nothing says that older people cannot or may not be  as happy as younger people. It seems that younger people often experience the future to be unlimited and therefore are more active in their social networking, doing new things, meeting new people and making new friends and therefore are often seen as happier than older generations.  However, getting older, and for me retiring from clinical work, does not mean life ends, it means only a new chapter is starting and values as well as priorities may be changing.

We often ascribe an amount of time to things we deem important, or we may struggle to find the time for things we thing are important or we may find we spend time on things that are not so important. This leads us to the concept of value and how we value our time is reflected in our priorities.

Historically, retirement was when we changed our sense of value around time in that we stopped working, recognizing our diminishing life span, and valued time for other interests. Perhaps then, people were more inclined to spend time as is and not build new interests with the potential of transforming one’s life and achieving new growth. Today, what happens moment-to-moment and the accumulation of those experiences in our life are what eventually become our traits. The sense of time and value should and/or remain the same in retirement than during our working life. If not, I believe it is time to reflect on our working and personal life and the management of our time before retirement.  Time is an extremely valuable asset

The straight answer is: I actually do have enough time to get done what’s important to me. It’s time to stop trying to get everything done, and instead, to focus on my priorities and let the rest go. In fact, the retirement chapter is no different than my life. I have the same time as I have always had. Priorities are different.