Multi-active Time, or I Think I Was Meant to Be Italian
My mom posted this great article on time to my Facebook wall the other day:
How Different Cultures Understand Time
As I read it, it became crystal clear to me that I view time like a Southern European. This, for example, resonated with me so strongly, that I decided to write a blog post about time as soon as I read it:
Spaniards, Italians and Arabs will ignore the passing of time if it means that conversations will be left unfinished. For them, completing a human transaction is the best way they can invest in their time. For an Italian, time considerations will usually be subjected to human feelings. [. . .] The business we have to do and our close relations are so important that it is irrelevant at what time we meet. The meeting is what counts. Germans and Swiss cannot swallow this, as it offends their sense of order, of tidiness, of planning.
When I was young, I was very much a planner. I was a slave to time and order and paid obsessive attention to schedules. At some point -- I don't know when -- I began to change, and my sense of time centered on conversation and relationships and building connections with people. To this day, I rarely cut a conversation short; if I feel like it's not done, I'll stay until it is and push all other appointments back.
This attitude gets me into sticky situations sometimes, and I find myself apologizing profusely or emotionally attacking myself with guilt over not using my time wisely. And yet. At the end of the day, I feel like I view time exactly how I should. Yes, I am constantly battling the pull of American Time, but I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.
At any rate, it's so nice to read an article like this -- an article that helps me go a little easier on myself. That lets me know that perhaps much of my struggle in life is because I'm an Italian trying to fit into an American world.
Thing I'm thankful for: sweatpants and hoodies