Time and Time Again


Time and Time Again


If I could choose an impossible-to-receive gift for myself during the holiday season, it would be the gift of an extra hour in each day. More time to get my work done, attend to my various family members, and focus on my writing.


Let’s say I’m sitting here at my desk, trying to write something—about time. So I Google famous quotes about time, and come up with one by John F. Kennedy: “We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.” Which kind of makes sense. Manage your time, don’t procrastinate. Or something like that. But, oddly, some of the references to this quote say, “We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.” And then I do more Googling to find out which one is correct, and fail to figure it out, and then I spend time thinking about why a couch? Is the idea to use time wisely rather than spend it sleeping on a couch? And then I think that “crutch” makes more sense than “couch.” But by that point, I’ve wasted huge amounts of time.


Then there’s this quote from Jean-Paul Sartre: “Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.” And I look at the list of things I still need to do today. Fortunately, it’s not three o’clock, it’s almost ten o’clock. In the morning. And I wonder if it’s possible to get everything on the list done before it’s already tomorrow.


Perhaps I need a stern talking-to, from none other than Benjamin Franklin: “You may delay, but time will not.” Thank you, Ben. I will keep this in mind as I doom-scroll through various websites, reading about terrible things going on all over the world. I can spend hours doing this, before realizing that time does not delay and if I want to go to bed before midnight, I need to stop delaying. At once.


December can be a productive month! So I will plunge in, count my blessings, and enjoy the moment!


--Deborah Kalb



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