“Time waits for no man.” That is one of the quotes I live by but that wasn’t always the case. Growing up I always knew that the clock is always ticking but I did not care to comprehend what that actually meant until years later when I met a young man my age and it all became clear how much of a significance the ticking of the clock meant and how it changed my life.
My Mother used to say something along the lines of, “the actions I took will determine my future.” I heard what she was saying but never cared to understand what she meant. I grew up playing TV games, watching television until sunset and then going to sleep. Basically a couch potato. I never bothered to show initiative in anything other than video games, every day that was my life for years.
During that time I would get into trouble with my mother for not doing anything around the house to help, she did everything; from the dishes, cooking, cle¬¬¬aning and she also had to go to work. I never cared to notice the amount of hours I was wasting, doing frivolous things but I passed my matric with excellent results and qualified to do a degree in university.
I applied to the Durban University of Technology and was accepted. I went to go stay there. That was a turning point in my life, it made me realise the washed up boy I was and it also changed me. When I arrived at varsity, I couldn’t make friends or sustain a conversation when someone initiated one with me. Plus in my residence didn’t have catering so I did everything myself which was not ideal because before I never worried about doing the dishes or any house chores. I started to get depressed and overwhelmed.
There was a boy my age who I managed to befriend, both of us did well with our school marks but he seemed to have his life under control. He was athletic and not scared to share how he was feeling and the way he would articulate a message was so humble. He also managed his father’s business after school, so one day I finally gathered the courage to ask him how he did it all and the main thing he told me was that there is no perfect time to do anything when you want to do something you just have to do it and not procrastinate because the clock is always ticking.
Time does not wait for anyone, that is when I spent some time doing introspection and realised how much time had passed and all the potential I had wasted because I was procrastinating. I found myself wishing that it was all a dream and I hoped for a chance and time to do it all differently but that wasn’t the case. There was no way of getting that time back, it was forever lost in the past, the very next day I bought a wrist watch to remind myself that time is moving all the time.
My perspective on life slowly changed ever since that day, I don’t hold onto things that waste my time or take the joy of life. I no longer spend the whole day sleeping or watching TV but now my day usually comprises of at least an hour of exercise, watching of documentaries, reading of two stories on the FunDza site. I also read books about real people doing amazing things.
I have also accepted that some things or people aren’t worth the time or energy I used to give them because time is always moving, it will not wait while I worry about the past or people who don’t deserve me. Another lesson I’ve learnt is that sometimes life will suck and that is alright, that’s life you just have to accept it and rise above it all, there is no Utopia on this Earth.
This realisation about time helped me see that I have a choice in everything and I should not waste any hour because the clock is always ticking for everyone, whether you are a businessman, scholar, engineer or a teacher. We all have time to do whatever we can to better our lives.
Tell us: what do you do when you have time off?