Is time interchangeable? Every hour has its own flavour

Time is one of those tricky things, because it doesn’t really exist in a way that we can really grab it.
And yet we can almost treat it like it exists.
We can we can measure something that we call time, measure it through clocks, and then we can think about having certain numbers of minutes and hours, and we can kind of treat it like it’s money, like it’s something of value that we have, and that we can choose how to spend it.
And for basic practical purposes, this is very useful.
We can think about the hours that we have available and then choose ways to spend those hours that we think are best.
But this only works at the practical level.
It only goes so far.
Because time isn’t really something interchangeable like you could say money, in the sense that, you know, your number of dollars.
One dollar is equivalent to another dollar, and you can change it.
Of course, assuming this is the same currency of dollars, of course.
If you have ten dollars and someone says give me five dollars, you give them five dollars, and they say, no, I want the other five dollars.
That would be nonsensical, because the first five dollars and the second five dollars are equivalent.
But, now, we treat time in a similar way with money, that you could say hours, an hour is an hour, but that’s where the parallel with money breaks down, because it does make a difference which hours you’re talking about in a way that it doesn’t make sense which dollars you’re talking about.
Hours are not equivalent.
We can work on them from a practical level and say I’m going to devote time on this, I’m going to devote a certain number of hours, and that is useful.
It’s useful to be able to say I’m giving this project, this task, this number of hours, and then you choose to spend those set number of hours on something.
But the simple point that I’m thinking about today is just that this is only true to the extent that it’s a practical, useful, functional level.
But really, when we really think about what time is, it’s not something that we can interchange equivalently like a currency, because every hour is different.
Every hour has its own character, its own flavour, its own conditions.
When we’re planning, we can often treat it as just spending a certain number of hours, allocating these hours, just like, you know, allocating a time budget just like we would allocate a money budget.
But it’s useful to remember how each hour of the day, of every different day, has its own particular feeling, and it’s good to be open to that.
It seems like it’s so normal for us to think of this kind of hours as a currency, because it is so practically useful, and it’s built into the way that we do business, the way we do work.
Paying for things by the hour, being paid by the hour, business hours, assigning hours, budgeting hours, scheduling out the day, blocking out time blocks to do things.
But there’s always something extra that it pays to pay attention to: what is the particular flavour of this hour that I’m in? And so, as much as it can be useful to set aside time and budget time, it’s good to be open to changing those plans based on what kind of hours we’re experiencing.
So my challenge to myself now is to pay attention to this idea of the flavours of the hours, think about what that means, and how I can be open to the sensation of the differences of different times, all as part of being alive in these hours.

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