Excuse me, have you got the time?
It is a notable truth that moments of true value are the ones where we lose our concept of time. The conversation that meanders through the minutes; the creative project we pour our soul into; being captivated by something beautiful; only brought back to earth when we realise it’s gotten dark or we’re ridiculously hungry. We feel our heads are so deeply in the moment that all else ceases to matter. The thing before us seems to glow and eclipses everything and anything else to the point that time stands still. No, more than that. Time ceases to exist. It hangs there, suspended, as though there are some things time does not dare stand alongside.
I have felt this feeling when composing. I have felt it when playing the piano. I am so engrossed in my work that I only realise how much time has gone by when the sun has gone down.
However, this feeling has a relative whose intentions are not so pure. It is so easy to lose your day to distractions, media and constant, incessant scrolling. Its siren call from your pocket; the soothing motion of your finger over the glass. It is so easy to forget yourself in the world of overstimulation. Sometimes I could have been scrolling through Instagram for twenty minutes or an hour and a half. I honestly couldn’t tell you.
When we get lost in a moment, it is helpful to ask whether we have been creating or consuming. If we lose ourselves in our creations, this is the golden light of adding value; even if only to ourselves. If you lose yourself in consuming; in giving your precious hours to pictures, videos and TV shows (though there is nothing wrong with in moderation, I should add), then we must ask ourselves what we are getting out of this. What benefit is being distracted giving us? Do you feel good afterwards? Does it feel like time well spent?
Creation and consumption are two forces that we should try and keep balanced. Which is more powerful in your life?