Your Dashboard Clock Is A Liar

Have you heard about these people who intentionally set their clocks fast? Because they’re out there.

All the kids are doing it.

And it’s usually the clock in the car that takes the brunt of the manipulation. The “logic” goes something like this – the delusional individual believes that by forcing the clock to lie to them, they’ll trick themselves into believing they have more time than they actually do. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Let’s take a look at a completely and totally hypothetical example.

An unnamed person, who for the example’s sake, we’ll call “my wife”, gets into the car after scraping her windshield on a foggy winter morning. I added “foggy” for effect. Let’s say she has to be at work at 9:00. As she starts the engine she glances at the clock. It reads 9:02. While most people would freak out and say things like, “oh crap, I’m late” or “I’m going to lose my job” or “how will I provide for my family now?”, this person just shrugs it off. Because this person knows something about her clock that no one else knows. It’s not really 9:02. It’s actually 9:02 minus 17 minutes, which happens to be 8:45. That leaves plenty of minutes to get to work.

While this completely and totally hypothetical example seems like a success story, it’s important to look at the facts. In normal people world, it was always 8:45. The extra 17 minutes just provide a mental cushion. Instead of looking at the clock, seeing reality and panicking, these people can look at a clock and shrug it off because in their minds they always have more time than the clock says. And don’t try to set their clock back to reality – you may lose a finger.

I, of course, have never done anything like this. And I’m sure you haven’t either. Because you and I, we live in reality. We can all just sit back, relax and laugh at all the delusional fast-clock people.

I mean I’ve never looked at a calendar and thought, “I’m only 18, I have plenty of time to do that”, or “Am I seriously only 27? I have so much time to accomplish this or try that”. Surely you’ve never done anything like that either, right? Surely you’ve never put things off, said you’ll wait until next week, next month, next year. Only delusional people do those kinds of things. They’re so funny.

“I’m picking up your sarcasm.”
“Well, I should hope so, because I’m laying it on pretty thick.”

The sad truth is, we’re all delusional aren’t we? Most of us believe that the time isn’t really what it says it is, that we always have more, that we don’t really have an expiration date. And so we put things off. We put off those changes we’ve always wanted to make, we put off living. Next year we’ll really start living. When I get that job, get that promotion, move here, get married, turn 30, go back to school, start writing again…then I’ll really start living. We look at our lives like the clock in the car – “I have more time than I think anyway, that clock is fast.”

I think it’s time to set our clocks back to reality. I think it’s time we realized that we’re only fooling ourselves. Our lives are a mist – here today and gone tomorrow. No matter how we try to manipulate time, we’re always running out of it. So maybe instead of trying to fool ourselves, trying to manipulate it, convincing ourselves that there’s no rush, maybe we should just start really living – today. Maybe we should make those changes, today. Move there, today. Spend more time with your kids, today. Go back to school, today. Ask her out, today. The time is what it says it is. And the time is now.


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Categories: I Digress

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