The Art of Freaking Out About Time.

As I started to brainstorm this piece, I came to the triplet of inexorable realisations that a) I over-think trivial things, and b) I can be neurotic in a way that may indeed make OCD people look positively relaxed in comparison, and c) I’m still really over-thinking these things. The second one is mostly manifested through the first.

And the third is what keeps me awake at night.

I have a thing about time. Not so much in keeping it, or even making the most of it, but rather on occasion I will find myself absorbed in the analysis of the units of time involved in something, just what an activity may mean in these terms – and then subsequently have a minor meltdown over the subsequent conclusion.

Just me? Hom.

It’s weird, because by nature I am laid-back, and in many ways quite lazy. Panic is an emotional response I like to keep chained up deep down in my personality, caged and away from the sun. If I have 1.5 hrs before I have to go out, and no other pressing needs, I will still wait until the final 10 mins to do ANYTHING. I’m just not much of a forward, make-best-use-of-my-time planner.

But in the middle of the night, as I find thoughts wandering, I will hit upon something, like how I own a complete TV series on DVD, and how I’ve watched it twice. To watch something once is perfectly fine, but repeat viewings is quite an investment of time – that is a portion of your life you are now dedicating to repeating something you have done previously, and the outcome will not change. But I will not stop at this question of “do I enjoy it/like it enough to watch it twice?” Rather, I will perform a number of head-based calculations and rationalisations, and arrive at a more informed phrasing of this question, such as “I’ve already spent 917 minutes viewing this series – I now own it, and have dedicated an additional 875 minutes (I skipped that whimsical, silly episode) – was this a good idea? Is a future watch-through of it, an approximate further dedication of 2700 minutes, an idea I’m comfortable with? Will I, at some later point in my life, dread the fact that I frivolously threw away such a large number of minutes? Do I want to know the number of seconds that also equates to?”

My Brain, completely of it’s own volition, will shortly inform me that this number, as it stands, is 49,020. I hate you, Brain. I have a facility for mental maths of a none-too-complex nature. Bring some quadratics into it, or factors, and Brain takes a long lunch, might sneak a drink or two, and checks out for the afternoon. Probably then selects a few premium episodes of Justice League and basks in the brave and the bold. Brain is a gifted-but-lazy element of me. But Conscience…he never rests. Ever alert, ever vigilant, he takes these numbers Brain provides, and crunches them.

817m is approximately 13.6 hours. That’s a lot of time. That’s a Lord of The Rings marathon, with toilet and meal breaks (I checked: 666 minutes of movie, leaving 2 hours 31 mins for…well, considering your current life choices)

13,6 hours is long enough to not only listen to Phil Collins entire back catalogue, but also to watch every “acting” moment in his career.*

13.6 hours is almost a complete day of consciousness.


And yet, here’s the funniest, almost absurd, almost sad part of all this: Since I began this article, it has dawned on me I’ve already watched it three times – I downloaded and watched the episodes as they aired, meaning I’m wrong. All the above is wrong.

We’re up to an approximate 3580-something minutes should I watch it again. Brain, get back on deck, we’ve got numbers to crunch. And then, once we’re done compiling an accurate number of seconds this equates to, we’ll spill that metaphorical bucket of time over, and play with it like Lego, building all the possible things I COULD have done with that time.


And thus, I never count sheep. It would just end badly.

*I checked this out. Trust me.

~ by nick on February 10, 2014.

2 Responses to “The Art of Freaking Out About Time.”

  1. annd how many episodes could you have watched while you were working on this?!

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