Speed of Light

Don’t Kill Time

On my first birthday, the 365 days which made up the preceding year counted for 100% of my life. When I turned two years old, that same period counted for just 50% of my life. When I turned ten, the previous year was a mere 10% of my life, and so on. The years go by faster and faster because they represent a smaller and smaller portion of my entire life.

I’d love to live until I’m one hundred years old, a cool seventy-six years from now, and I know the intervening trips around the Sun will seem faster and faster still.

When I get to that age and look back on the difference, I can’t imagine wishing that I’d had “less time” than what I’d actually experienced. Of course, no matter how full of a life I’ll live, I’m certain I’ll always had wished for more time.

So it’s with that in mind I think recent trends of “killing time” have really felt so strange to me. There are moments in my life where I get bored, like waiting in a line or riding the bus, and in those times, I sometimes feel the urge to divert myself with my phone or computer. It could be something new like Twitter. It could be something timeless like listening to music. It could even be reading an article or book. But whenever I’ve felt an urge for one, I’ve felt a stronger urge to avoid them.

Any of these activities are a good way to pass those in-between moments, those crumbs of a day, and get me through to a bigger, meatier morsel of time. They’re a way to kill time, but why would I want to kill time? Time is precious and limited and can never be truly gotten back. I’ll become a wrinkly old sod before I know it, I’d rather not accelerate that plan and miss any of the life on the way. Those crumbs may be tiny, but can be filling when put together.

I want to emphasize I have nothing against Twitter, listening to music, podcasts, or reading. All are excellent tools which serve their own purpose of entertainment, enlightenment, or information. All are important, but turning to them for the sole purpose of killing time seems perverse to me.

So instead of skipping like a stone over the watery surface of life every time I have a spare moment, I want to instead plunge into the water and soak it all in. I want have that time, however boring it may seem, to spend my way, with my thoughts.

We all want more time, so why do we try to kill it?