Developing a Healthy Relationship with Time

We are faced with all sorts of challenges. There is an overweight/obesity crisis. We eat too darn much. We eat too fast. We far too often find ourselves in the grips of rampant consumerism. We buy things on impulse and fill our homes with them, though they offer us precious little utility. We communicate superficially through fragments of text, yet deep and meaningful conversations are often absent in our daily lives.

We are fascinated with celebrities, stars and sports figures and, at the same time, neglect the basics of our own lives. We sit too much and move too little. We are good at finding fault with others but rationalize our own deficiencies away. Worst of all, these behaviors – which create needless challenges for us – do not increase our quotient of joy.

Perhaps the root of these challenges, and others, lies in the most fundamental challenge of all. We just do not understand time. Consequently, we do not have a healthy relationship with it. We live in a society that, in many ways, teaches us not to have a good relationship with time. For example, if we want to buy something in a particular store, we could save our money over time and buy it when, in fact, we have the money. Or, as is all too common, we can buy now and pay later. And, oh, doing so will result in debt and mounting interest payments for something we likely do not need. Question: What is the rush to make that purchase?

If we are overweight, as unfortunately far too many of us are, we can seek to rectify that through a process of reasonable, healthy diet and exercise. Or, we can go on a crash diet, exercise too much, too fast and cause more harm to ourselves in the process. How about love and romance? How many of us have a patient outlook when it comes to meeting a significant other? How many of us are willing to put the time into getting to know someone before rushing headlong into a relationship that might be based on factors that, in the long run, will have little impact on its success.

Why are we marketed programs proclaiming seven days to this and 30 days to that, alluring us with the promise of quick change for things that we may well have been dealing with most of our lives? And why are we so susceptible to that type of marketing in the first place?

For those of us with fresh water to drink, nutritious food to eat, shelter from the elements, basic clothing, access to medical care and basic transportation – and, lamentably, those are things far too many people in the world go without – why do we demonstrate an inability to delay gratification?

Additionally, why is it that we seem to have this driving need to enjoy ourselves now, which often turns out to be an unenjoyable exercise, while putting off bona fide work and personal efforts that will render us creative, joyful individuals whose happiness comes from embracing our ability to create rather than being absorbed by the noxious notion that consuming and consumption somehow lead to the soul’s paradise?

There are answers. Do you want them? If you do, seek them over time.

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

You can reach me with your questions and comments at Like today’s column? Check back frequently.