The New Year… and Other Self-Inflicted Fetters

It’s 7:28 am as I sit in my mother’s dining room this January 1st, 2017.  There is a clock on the wall behind me with a second hand that sounds like a snare drum in the silence of our sleeping household.

As is pretty typical of my mornings, I spent the first 30 minutes or so browsing Facebook on my phone and sipping a cup of coffee.  The next 20 or so were spent finishing the essay I began reading on my flight up – Bastiat’s “The Law”.

Time…  30 min here, 20 min there, a new year, a new day…

Forgive me if I attempt to wax a bit philosophical this New Year’s Day.  I do so daily (and perhaps poorly) in my own mind and, well, this blog is entitled “Mind of Matt” so…

My news feed this morning was filled with well-wishes of a Happy New Year, along with a light spattering of personal resolutions; and it got me thinking…

Time… what a massive roll it plays in our existence.  To be sure, it is helpful – even necessary – but do we treat it with more significance than we ought?  Do we not, quite frequently in fact, unnecessarily bind ourselves by it; or even more so, use it as an excuse?

How often do we say things like, “I don’t have the time” or “If I only had the time.”  I utter one of those phrases, or something similar, almost daily.

What does that mean?  Well, usually for me, it means I have something I want or need to do that I can’t seem to get to because of the lack of (there it is again) time.

Let me give an even more practical illustration.  My wife just got out of bed.

I’m writing.

My first thought is, “I should’ve skipped Facebook and started writing earlier.”  Why?  Because I like to sit and spend time with my wife in the mornings when I’m not working, not stare at a computer screen.

Now, the next thought I’m tempted to have is, “I just can’t seem to find the time to write.”  But is that true?

I submit to you it is not.  The truth of the matter is I haven’t made it enough of a priority.  There are a number of things I do on a daily basis that I could go without doing and write; but I don’t.

The point is this:  Far too often, I think, we (no-doubt subconsciously) chain ourselves to this concept of time and then use those very chains to justify why we can’t do this or that.

Now before someone says it…  Yes, I see the usefulness of setting goals and hence using dates (e.g. the New Year) to measure our starting points and/or finish lines.  Such practices are certainly beneficial.

However, as I consider this concept of time and my own life I find, more often than not, I use it more as an excuse rather than a valuable tool.

So then…  all that being said, allow me to do what may seem contrary to the whole point of this post: make a New Year’s Resolution.

Resolved:  I will attempt to quit fettering myself to the concept of time as an excuse for not doing the things I want to do, and instead, reevaluate my priorities to “make time.”





One thought on “The New Year… and Other Self-Inflicted Fetters

  1. Well put. I’d also add, what are the time wasters in our lives. How much time do we pend on frivolity that could better be spent on things more useful and beneficial?


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