Last week, I left the house for an appointment that wasn’t going to last longer than and hour and somehow lost half the day. I say I lost it because I can’t tell you where the time went. All I know is that I returned home five hours after I left without any detours. But what I didn’t realize is that I was dealing with a Time Bandit. No, I ‘m not referring to the band of vertically-challenged thieves who time traveled through history with a little boy to steal treasures in that quirky 1981 Terry Gilliam movie. This time I am talking about the actions, habits and things that literally steal time away from us. A Time Bandit is particularly annoying because they are taking one of our most valued commodities.
What’s funny about my Time Bandits is that they steal long stretches of time as well as short snippets (like the 15 minutes in the morning where you go from being on time to late without knowing how). And with their weird sense of humor they give me back time when I don’t need it. At least that’s what it feels like when I’m waiting for something to happen and suddenly the seconds elapse at a snail’s pace or i am given back stolen moments when I can’t use them effectively.
The funny thing about Time Bandits is once we’re aware of how they work in our lives, we can factor them in. By anticipating their inevitable appearances and finding ways to make their impact less of annoyance is a start. For now I have just come to believe that everything I do will take much longer than I think they will. But if by chance I end up with free time maybe I will learn to appreciate it more by doodling or daydreaming. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
So tell me this: What are your Time Bandits?