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Vignettes of a Lazy Traveller

Three Minutes

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 9 March 2010 | Views [574]

I lost something of mine today

Something I value. Something I know is now lost forever and I will never get back. If you paid me for it it would only be worth $2.40 on the open market. But it is worth so much more to me. 

I didn't lose it because I was forgetful or  because I was careless, or clumsy or not paying enough attention.

I lost 3 minutes of my life because I started a new job today.

I walked in, thinking I was well on time for the first day tick tock tick tick well done you new employee you

looked at the clock in the tea room

and noticed

It was 3 minutes ahead of my own watch.

I was paralysed by conundrum. Those three minutes are mine, I own them: Do I just succumb to giving them over because my life now has to coexist in this new work paradigm?

I felt the pain and grief over giving up my time.

All those things you can do with three minutes:

You can pat your dog really well behind the ears

You can call up your mother and tell her that you love her

You can make (and eat really fast) a packet of 2 minute noodles

You can write a list of all the things you have to do today

You can listen to someone's woes

You can have a really great lover-to-lover kiss

You can write a story about how you lost three minutes of your life.

Three minutes can be short. Like when you are saying goodbye to someone you would really rather just stayed.

It can be long. Like when there's three minutes till the bell of a really dull class at school. And you are the teacher.

Some people are magic makers with three minutes. I know a man that can make time for a three minute cup of tea at any time of day, even if he is running late, even if he needs to be somewhere yesterday

he says "There is always time for a cup of tea with you." And that three minutes feels unrushed and expansive (though truth be told I think it often stretches into 4 and once, and I don't know how, 28 whole minutes).

How I love that man.

For many three minutes at a time.

Who says I must give up my time? Can't the new work-world adjust to me? I sulk. For a whole 30 seconds. It doesn't make any difference.

In a rush of self-righteousness I reach up to the clock on the wall, to grab it and change the time to the correct time: MY time.

But the bugger is stuck with a lock.


I adjust my watch. I guess I can always take it back again when I quit.

Or I can just be 3 minutes late today while I have a whinge.

Tags: clocks, losing three minutes, lost, minutes, new job, time, what is time worth?



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