Anatomy of Half an Hour

What bearing does a half-hour have on us when there are so many hours, day, weeks, and years in our lifetime? Thirty minutes, eighteen hundred seconds, one forty-eighth of a day, one sixteen thousand five hundred twentieth of a year. That is not to say that time is unimportant or unfair, but there are many of us who have a slanted perception of how time ultimately affects us. You definitely aren’t going to be cooking a turkey dinner, but you could go for a jog.

So why the lack of time?

As if some were given more time than others?

The answer is simple. Perception is the key to life, some see only what they cannot have and others see what they already do. That perception leads us to see that responsibility of our own choices is what frames our lives.

The elderly reflect back on their years of worry and realize that there was more around them than they believed. They once saw life as a race too which you could never beat the clock. Now, they experience life anew, returning to place and participating in things long forgotten. As adults, we are often faced with the overwhelming certainty that we will not finish what we have started; that there is a distinct possibility that our IN box will be much fuller than our OUT box. We race through life as though each precious second was wasted if we stopped for a moment. But, it is this life that we race through that we are truly missing. The elderly see life as it was: the simplicities that make it great and the complexities that often leave adults confused and bewildered as to how they survive.

Children are beset with such wonder of the world that they are fundamentally unburdened with a need to categorize time. They are free of this because they simply wander about simply experiencing the world around them. Their choices and their consequences are simple to them because they are seeing them for the first time; they will not slant them and pervert them. A child will not be heard saying that they don’t have enough time to finish playing in the woods. They understand the simplicities that we often take for granted.

Imagine if you devoted a half an hour a day to reading to your child at night instead of plopping them in front of the television because you believe that “you don’t have time.” How many times have you sat on the couch and watched sitcoms endlessly. What if this was used for something constructive instead? You could learn to speak a language in a half an hour each day.

Most waste time, but there are those who find a focus for their lives: a purpose. Whatever walls you have erected in your life have been placed there by you and the choices that you have made. Time is not the culprit of your ills, but human action (or inaction for that matter). Focus on what you want and stop complaining because, honestly, everyone else is too preoccupied to listen.

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Dan O’Brien wrote more than a dozen novels (all before the age of 30), including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012. Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor. He currently teaches psychology at CSU, Chico. You can learn more about Amalgam by visiting his website at: www.amalgamconsulting.com.