Saturday, April 11, 2015

Reflections III- Time Paradigms- free time/me time/no time etc

Time is a mystical dimension that we try to understand using clocks and calenders while following the movements of sun and moon, but when it comes to managing life time, it takes an even more mysterious turn. This is ironical because as a professional, time management is the first thing I preach to my clients. As a working person with various social roles to play, it becomes imperative that we are neither too rigid not too careless with our 24 hours everyday. But what do you say to an individual who asks," Doctor, when are you free?".
What is free time....

Am I free, early in morning when I am trying to wake up, wake children up, sending them to school?
Am I free, later in morning when I am trying to catch-up with the newspaper, morning tea, honing lost communication skills with my husband, bathing, dressing, managing household and trying fervently to reach work on time?
Am I free, during the day when I am trying to explore/understand/diagnose/treat people of their various issues?
Am I free during lunch hour when I am trying to collect dry-cleaning/ tailoring/groceries/paying bills, reaching home, trying to  eat lunch while instructing my maid and trying to feed my baby, catching up with elder one's school activity, and sometimes looking to breath before I start seeing patients again?
Am I free later in the evening when I have to again become a little more instructive to all those instruments that balance my fragile work-family balance while trying to get dinner on table- feed-listen-instruct-feed-listen-instruct?
Am I free later in the night when I want to take a few moments to relax, surf channels or read a book or pen down my thoughts before I start another day?

Would I be absolved of hitting another if I took a phone-call while driving?
Would I be allowed a positive feedback, if I responded to a patient while seeing another?
Would I be sane if I allowed random people to talk to me while I try to interact with my friends and family?

If free means something available at no price, then I am never free. My time does not always cost me monetarily. I am forever paying something or the other, important to me, in order to give you time, and in that process, I need to choose...I need to priorities...I need to even give up the monetary benefits of using my time to guide another if I have to spend emotional currency and in turn feel more depleted than ever. My time is not the government's  property and its not the property of those who pay for a 20 minute consult and then wish that I be available to them whenever they feel the need.

When it comes to judging others, we as a race are pretty adept at it, but to be able to realize that everybody is blessed with the same 24 hours a day while earth completes a rotation around it's axis, should-not we be more sensitive to other people's time. Instead of asking for free time, if we could ask for someone's valuable time and not think that we have a right to have it because one would be NOT eating/sleeping/working or generally Not being busy performing all those mundane things that actually make up the most important part of our lives.

I am not somebody who would not give you time, but you will have to earn it by respecting it.

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