Time Overdraft and Bankruptcy

One of my favorite books is a crazy book called CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Handling Your Fast-Paced Life.

I’m not going to say I really “grok” the whole point of it just yet (although much of it does speak directly to me). I mostly pick it up from time to time and read for a little inspiration, getting ideas about how others view this crazy-busy World.

But I know it – I am jaded. Very jaded. I often feel like all the World is on a roller coaster and I’m the only one who realizes that there’s a way to get off. I often hum John Lennon’s Watching The Wheels, as I walk my day.

People often “call me crazy”, or so I should imagine they do.

But I’ve been wondering lately – not why do people over-spend their time, but why is it that they are allowed to?

Time is like money. i.e., There is only a limited amount of it in the World. And dare I say that the person with the most time is also the “richest”?!?

Time really is like money. We all give it a lot of weight. We all spend a lot of time thinking about how to spend it. We “commit” it to others. We “save” it for ourselves. In so many ways, it is just like money.

So how is it that we are able to “spend” time that we don’t have? How can we commit time that does not exist?

Surely there should be penalties for those who steal from my own time and experience by committing and spending time which they don’t actually own. I mean, if you are spending time with me, but you are not “with me” | “present” | “fully alive”, then perhaps you should get one of those nasty letters from the Time Collection Agency, saying that they are going to garnish your “work” time until you pay off this debt in your “personal” time.

Surely that would be fair.

But it’s not. After all, for our money we have help, we have tools, we have concrete constraints – right? We can use Quicken, and online banking, and checking accounts, and personal financial advisors, and the darned fact that we don’t have any cash left in our wallet, all as ways of understanding and acknowledging the fact that we cannot spend more.

But time – we can manufacture it. Right? Yes, no? Maybe we can? I think we should be able to?

Nope – we can’t. Once your time in the day is spent, it’s gone. You can’t spend it twice. Or even thrice! 🙂

But somehow we do. We spend it all, many times over. With unnoticed consequences just as harsh as those when we spend someone else’s money.