525,659

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day: An Essay on Balancing Life and Time

24 Hours Feature

There is a limitless amount of time in the universe, but unfortunately each of us are only allotted so many minutes, hours, and days.  With every tick of the clock, there exists unlimited potential, and unrestrained failure.

By Kenyon Boltz

Speaking on a wide open topic as how to live on 24 hours is an exercise in restraint, self-reflexive attitudes, and passive tolerance.  I found the scope of this paradox to be more personal and individual compared to political, social or historical perspectives.  We all have an innate seed to grow, to limitless degrees and concentrations, over years to a preconceived, evolved sense of human existence.  What makes this obligation profound is how to live on 24 hours a day and the strange similarities this concept has on our liberty to freedom, reason, and choice.

Work is a harsh necessity.  Most will criticize us for living in the present as indulgence of irresponsibility.  We are too demanding of ourselves.  Because of our natural contingency [the chance of dying at any given moment] and our mortality [our inevitable death], the scarcity of time has received a high premium of health and safety thus down-sizing the natural loves of our lives.  We rank our priorities.

The phenomenon of 24 hours exhibits to the best democratic degree.  Anyone can waste it away; it will come back the next day.  Everyone, from a janitor at a building to a CEO of a financial institution, receives the same amount.  There might be an adage about ‘buying time’ but you cannot.  You can’t save it away for another day; its daily expenditure is mandatory.

It is immaterial in composition, to hold it is impossible; it can only be watched leaving, and a ridiculous pace.  There are no rewards to anyone who has worked harder or done some humanitarian charity — the same allotment is given.  You can waste it without penalty.  You cannot borrow or get into debt with it.

Now, the context of this article is to be considered in its abstraction, but the variables of life can, and usually will, parlay into a larger gamble.  I would not reason a generalization of an average man: every person has their peculiar specifics.  There is no definitive answer, but if one generous person does have it, please send in a reply and I will gladly buy the first round to earnestly listen.

As I worked on this theme, it became more and more divergent and scattered.  However, I want to be simple and concrete versus the arrogant claims of schedules, restrictions, and personal regrets.  The evolution of your contentment is at stake each day.

Arnold Bennett, early 20th century writer, penning a book with the same title of this article, states, “… until an effort is made to satisfy that wish, the sense of uneasy wanting for something to start that which has not started will remain to disturb the peace of the soul.’- a mission statement without empty snobbery.

We all carry a primal instinct in aspiring to our best, be it in civics, family, or your career.  The moral weight and loyalty is a daily burden.  We all have thoughts of “I can do better,” “I’m not doing what I want,” and “this isn’t fair.”  I agree: we are human.  This concept of how to live on 24 hours is not a light switch.  This will be an arduous program.  A road filled with failures, small successes, and accidents.  It is evolution, progressive steps to a newly altered formation.

24 Hour Inset

We all are in it to win it, like Too Short so aptly said, “Get in where you fit in.”  If we all set concrete boundaries to our savage wanderings, we would capture our individual animal.  Although we surround ourselves in countless statistics, we are defined by time as the mark of our historical sense.  The scarcity of time is our creator of self-consciousness.  Our strong social passions and liberty is regulated by this free will to reach contentment.

Think about the contrast in your day when a special event is planned, the event being anything (i.e. concert, movie, date).  How daft we are to militarize our daily efforts to encompass the minutia: everything from wardrobe, driving route, food, all carefully conceived and categorized in place.  And how does the night go: unfortunately fast (or oh so slow, depending); a euphoric freedom from the chains of time.

This may all sound so primitive and benign to most; however, the reach of one or few epiphanies has the multiplying effect of carrying over.  The interaction of friends, colleagues or new strangers, is an event of intangible quality.  Lively discourse is what can open new paths and avenues toward this evolutionary path of insight and how to live on your daily 24 hours.  We do not question one another enough to settle within ourselves.  The fun is out there everyday with just a small commitment to the petty successes over the inevitable failures.

As a decoration to my commonplace 24 hour balance, I am inspired by the numerous possibilities of minute’s set end-to-end.  The point to living on 24 hours is for concentrated efforts maximizing the immaterial commodity of time to put at ease the wish of full contentment in existence.

I could wake up an hour earlier to watch repeat cartoons, drink a beer, maybe two, go to work, insult my boss, slander co-workers, steal my lunch, quit my job, go to a strip club, go to a friend’s house, smoke dope, call some ex-flings, and pass out with a freshly opened beer.

That is an example of living on 24 hours.  The greatness to this objectionable day’s account is its absence of moral intelligence.  Would I not have been better off to stay in bed and sleep myself into buffoonery?  How about I get up for work, shower, shave, drive to work with an audio book teaching French, catch up on incomplete work, assist a co-worker on their work-load, treat a friend to lunch, come home, get dressed to meet up with friends at a local bar, discuss enduring topics, say good-bye, read a chapter of EB Browning poetry, and go to sleep?

If I took these actions and labeled an individual card with each, shuffled them, and dispersed two piles and planned my day accordingly, the combination is bountiful; but, the epitome is diverse: there is a virtue in self-limitation.  What a person needs is serious introspection on reason to our conduct, principles, and self-actualization.

Will continuous examination, reflection, and resolution provide the conduit toward 24 hour diplomacy?  Yes it can.  Is the cause and effect of our actions in according to contentment?  Of course.  Do we need to have variety in order to keep our diminishing attention from digressing?  Yes and no.  Our mind can be a catapult to exquisite attainment.  Our liberty to actively participate with our surroundings and make change everyday is a reward of exponential value.  So where does this altruistic article end?  Right where it begins: every morning we wake up.  You fill in the rest.

 
  • Pingback: Arrivederci 2008, I'll See You in Hell | Primer

  • Jerry

    Good article. I agree that we have to be fully engaged with everything we do to be able to step outside temporal boundaries. I also like that your example of a common day did not involve checking out on the world through escapism. Even our pre- and post-work hours can work in our favor.

Primer is proudly spam-free. Unsubscribe anytime.