Know what’s crazy?
How much money concerns can alter a person’s perception of time.
I was thinking about it a bit this morning while getting ready for work. It’s Friday, but not a payday Friday, and even when it is a payday Friday next week, it doesn’t really count, because most of that paycheque will go to rent. I have a mental list (and notes in my phone) of things I need to buy before the end of the month – or, more specifically, before my first July paycheque – and beyond that, in my head, June is already over.
Even though it’s only the 17th, and barely halfway through the month.
So much of my time, it seems, is spent calculating what I have left, what’s coming, and how much I will need to spend, to see if there is anything left for what I want to spend money on. I pay my bills out of the first paycheque of the month, and rent out of the second, and everything spent on life in between comes out of whatever is left over from those two. It’s constant, really. Even when extra cash comes my way, like a tax refund, it generally goes into my non-existent savings to act as a kind of buffer between me and a bounced cheque or another bankruptcy. It gets set aside for the unexpected expenses which inevitably come up throughout the year.
And so as my mind lives from paycheque to paycheque, and from month to month, I find I’ve begun to think of time that way, too. Since I’ve already paid my bills and made a list of the things I’m running out of, June is now, essentially, done. June is dead to me! Haha
I jest about that part, but not about how weird time is when it’s measured in paydays and bills. I don’t even really bother to save up for things anymore. Not like I used to. TIFF passes, Fan Expo fun – I already know I won’t be buying a TIFF package again this year, and as for Fan Expo, I’m not expecting to be able to get much, if anything at all. Hopefully a photo op or two, but until I know the prices, even that won’t be guaranteed. My goal right now, and for the past little while, is to get a new computer. Or new to me, and better than the poor beast I have slaving away at home currently. For Mind Reels stuff, Guinness World Record stuff, Etsy and Ebay stuff (if I ever find time for crafting again), writing, and several other little side projects that have been put on hold for now – all of those things require slightly better technology than I have, at least in order to do them well. I’ve been getting by, but things could be so much better.
I could be so much better.
Then there’s the ever-growing list of things I want to do “someday”, but when time is measured in paydays, “someday” rarely comes, even as we speed ever closer to when it might have been.
The larger problem, of course, is that it’s also panic-inducing on a regular basis. Every time I pick up a prescription at the pharmacy, every time I am close to running out of cat or dog food, every time I obsessively check my bank account before my rent cheque comes out, to make sure there’s enough money to cover it. Every time I’m too tired to make lunches to take to work but force myself to because I know I can’t likely afford to go buy lunch. I know I said in another post that all I really have to do is make different choices; sacrifice some things to make it easier to cover other things. I just haven’t really done that yet.
Which is also kind of panic-inducing, really, because time is going by so quickly in some respects. Someday becomes some week, some month, or some year – usually in the blink of an eye, or what seems like one. It all happens so fast. Thinking about what I need to do, then suddenly realizing I should have done it long ago and would have been further ahead, instead of still just thinking about it.
And yet actual time – between the start and end of a work day, between paycheques – that stuff slows right down.
I guess time is relative, in a way. Each of us measure it differently, yet we also measure it in a variety of ways, each ourselves. Vacations, time spent actually sleeping, weekends/days off – that stuff all flies by. Measuring time in paycheques flies by without even moving, because I’m already thinking two paydays ahead. I could probably give the actual time it’s been since I last saw my conjoined other half, yet no matter what the calendar and clock says, to me it feels so much longer, and with no definite end to the wait in sight.
Maybe I just have to find a better way to measure time – to slow it down when I’m having fun, and speed it up when I’m bored to tears. Alter perception with regards to the motion of time.
If I could bottle THAT, I’d never have to worry about the relationship between time and money again.