Not long ago, I found myself in the spice aisle at a local supermarket, mumbling to myself, “I’m out of thyme. And there’s no thyme! How can this be? I can’t find the thyme!”
Sure enough, every other spice was on the shelf: turmeric, curry, rosemary, cardamom, you name it. Just no thyme. I decided not to waste another second looking for it, and went on with my shopping. But privately, I was laughing. Had the universe played this little trick on me just to remind me that lately I’ve been taking on more than I can handle?
The fact is, there simply is not enough time in the day—a lament I hear all too often from everyone I meet (except perhaps fashionably bored adolescents, but with all the extracurricular activities, even these are becoming rare these days). And there seems to be no way to beat the system; no matter how you slice it, the day always comes out to exactly 24 hours. Recently, I read an article that claimed meditation makes you more productive, thereby at least creating the illusion of more time. But having tried this technique for a month I must report that while meditation is grand, it still doesn’t add any hours to my day. In fact, because of my meditation, dinner is now routinely late.
I’ve also heard the argument that if you really want to do something badly enough, you will make time for it. Now this is truly a curious claim, because even though I really want to attend my yoga class, meditate, walk, write, clean my house, and pay attention to my family, it seems that there is never enough time for everything. I have yet to figure out how to create time without cutting something out (maybe if I keep meditating the answer will come to me?).
Adding to the confusion is the fact that we recently turned the clocks back. This is fine if you’re an early riser but if you like to be productive in the late afternoon, forget it. It’s now time to start preparing dinner at about 3 o’clock.
I’ve tried getting up really early to solve this dilemma, and the result is that I need a nap in the mid-afternoon, a time when I should be completing one of the many tasks on my list. I’ve also tried staying up really late, and the result is that I can’t pull myself out of bed in the morning. And yes, I’ve tried going to bed and rising at “reasonable” hours, but even this doesn’t seem to alter the fact that there is simply not enough time to get everything done.
I guess the lesson to be learned is simply to accept what we cannot change, and just keep the focus on making the most of every moment. In the meantime, I’m heading to a different grocery store, where I hope to at least replenish the thyme over which I do have complete and utter control.