Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Do I Have the Time?


I have been really busy as of late, but not necessarily because I have been doing "responsible" things with my time. For this reason has my blog writing been very lacking, and it explains why I have not finished discussing the art of Internet Explorer Automation. But this is not a post about that either; no, this is a post about something that has been on my mind as of late: the allocation of time.

My thoughts have turned to the subject of time more as of late since many people insist on reminding me that I always have time to do this or that when I tell them "I don't have time to do this." Really? Why do you feel it necessary to remind me that we all live in the same fabric of spacetime and are constrained by the same physical reality? Apparently these people think that I am unaware that my time is no more or less than the time that they are allotted. It is as though they feel it necessary to point out my fallacious semantics.

Well here are my thoughts relative to my "having time" to do those things I say I don't. First and foremost, when I say the idiomatic expression "I don't have time," do you really suppose that I believe somehow the laws of physics have been bent such that I no longer have access to a chunk of time that allows me to complete the task? Or do you suppose I am referring to a sudden acceleration in my frame of reference that will propel me into the future, thus depriving me of anytime to complete your trivial demands?

Or perhaps the offender supposes that I am not capable of comprehending the notion that my schedule can change. Perhaps these people suppose that their tasks are of more importance than mine, that somehow because they want me to commit time to their cause automatically makes all other things on my schedule trivial. I can even imagine that perhaps, when we are doing something in a group, they suppose that this is the only group whose assignments are of importance to me.

Perhaps they feel like I don't understand what the words "I don't have time" actually mean and they decide to show me the errors of my semantic ways. Suppose for a second that I didn't have above a third grade education, and let's pretend that I haven't lived in an English speaking country my entire life and do not in fact speak any other language but English, providing the chance to possibly misunderstand the context of this phrase; would trying to correct me still make a difference?

What if I had been forthright in my declarative statement by simply saying "this task is of no importance to me and I have no plans to alter my schedule to accomplish it?" This declaration makes me sound stubborn, arrogant, and altogether disagreeable. But is this not what we really mean when we say "I don't have time?" The answer is a resounding YES! Of course I know there is time in between now and a week from today. Do you really think I am so stupid that I can't understand how time works?

So what is someone really saying when they tell you there is always time to do something? In essence, they are challenging your intelligence, your motives, and your integrity. The only reason someone would tell you that you have time when you say you don't is to challenge your reasons for why you won't take the time to do what they want you to do.

Well guess what? If you really feel like I am wasting my time, perhaps you can take some time to show me how to live better. You can go to work for me, then go and fulfill my calling for me by sitting in an office for several hours making sure people are coming to see the Bishop, then do my hours of reading I need to catch up on, then drive up to Sandy to get my car fixed from the deer I hit this past weekend, then you can do my homework for me that is due in a few days, then you can do my laundry. Oh, and then you can spend the next several hours on the phone trying to figure out why investment companies can't seem to handle your money correctly ever. This will give me the time to do this trivial task you asked me to do. Wait, don't you have the time?