Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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

2 Comments:

Blogger cardlady said...

It's kind of like when I read an article at Grandma Rhea's house in the Readers Digest. I may have already had Cami, but was a young morher. I didn't fit the norm of anyone else's time constraints, ie. Getting up early and going to bed early. I only really come alive at about 10:00 am and can thrive, all the way to 1:00 am. In the article, he said, we are not all cookie cutters. Not made from the same cloth. So do your own thing and ENJOY your thing and quit being guilty. It made me more confident and way less guilty.
I knew you would love that article. I wonder about the French in us. Did it mention, maybe Southern France is much like the Italians. In that case, you are also part French, my dear! And tgat is where it comes from. But also, tge Irish like to converse and shoot the breeze, ie, Michelle Lalor.

10:17 PM  
Blogger cardlady said...

It's kind of like when I read an article at Grandma Rhea's house in the Readers Digest. I may have already had Cami, but was a young morher. I didn't fit the norm of anyone else's time constraints, ie. Getting up early and going to bed early. I only really come alive at about 10:00 am and can thrive, all the way to 1:00 am. In the article, he said, we are not all cookie cutters. Not made from the same cloth. So do your own thing and ENJOY your thing and quit being guilty. It made me more confident and way less guilty.
I knew you would love that article. I wonder about the French in us. Did it mention, maybe Southern France is much like the Italians. In that case, you are also part French, my dear! And tgat is where it comes from. But also, tge Irish like to converse and shoot the breeze, ie, Michelle Lalor.

10:18 PM  

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