I got a new watch last week, and I keep looking at it. My old watch had been dropped a few too many times and had given up the ghost. It had run out of time, so to speak. My new watch, on the other hand — er, no, I keep it on the same hand as I kept the old one — anyway, it has a lot of time. Every time I look at it, the watch gives me the time, and I couldn’t be happier.
I also got a new wall clock for my office. The old wall clock, like the old watch, ran out of time. The new wall clock, however, like the new watch, has plenty of time, something I wish I could say for sure about myself.
Like most people, I am obsessed with time. That’s probably because, like most people, I have a busy schedule and I don’t want to run out of time to do all I have to do.
But here is something I read the other day, and it made me think: There is no such thing as time. We make it up, just like we make up stories. Time doesn’t exist. Look around you. Do you see any time, except on the faces of your watches, or clocks, or cell phones or computer screens? Of course you don’t. Time is strictly a human invention.
The cat at our house doesn’t wear a watch, because she doesn’t need to. Her schedule isn’t imposed by the numbers on a clock, but by when she gets hungry or thirsty, and then she looks for me to give her a bowl of kibble or water. The rest of the day, she pretty much does what she feels like doing. I, on the other hand, hardly ever get to do that. I have to do what the watch on my wrist says it is time to do.
Time is very useful, I’ll admit, but I think there are a few things we could learn from the cat, too.