About That 3 Hour Meeting the Other Day…
A story from another life
Nothing else needed to be said. Everything that needed to be said had been said. Everything adjacent to what needed to be said had been said. Yet the monotony continued.
As we rounded the 2.5 hour mark the CEO began babbling about her daughter’s gymnastics career. I began wondering if a fall from this moderately comfortable chair was enough to kill me.
It’s a strange thing, to contemplate one’s demise at the hands of a piece of furniture ordered out of an OfficeMax catalog.
I looked around the table. Everyone wished they were somewhere else. One of my cohorts may have been asleep. And yet, for reasons unknown, we still decided congregating in this stuffy conference room was the best use of our time.
Since the universe began time has moved steadily in only one direction — forward. It will continue to move forward after every star goes out. After every proton in every atom everywhere breaks down. After all the black holes evaporate.
And even then, when all lights have been extinguished, when there is nothing to discern one blackened corner of the universe from another, time will continue to move forward.
“…she’s really taken to the uneven bars. That’s the most challenging of gymnastics events you know. It requires strength tempered by balance on top of…”
Time is our most valuable resource, yet we pay it such little respect.
Most of us don’t do work we’d consider a good use of time. We fill a seat. We man a station. We stand at a counter. Tiny cogs in corporate machines whose only goal is exceeding quarterly earnings estimates.
Most of us don’t play in a manner we’d consider a good use of time. Instagram, TikTok, Netflix, Hulu, video games, video slot machines. Distractions rather than meaningful pursuits.
Most of us don’t love in a way we’d consider a good use of our time. Love has become a status symbol. A tool to fuel our narcissism. We’d rather be with the wrong person than suffer the shame of being with no one at all. We’d rather be with the wrong person than do the self-work to find the right person.
Worst of all, most of us feel powerless to change how we allocate our time.
We have kids and dogs and mortgages and cars. We can’t afford to do the work we want. We’re too busy to play the way we want. We only love the way we want to love in our dreams. And so we put up with meetings from hell, our eyes glazing over a little more each day.
All the while time keeps on slippin’ towards the end of the universe.
Chairs began to shift and creaky humans began to gather their things. My cohort was in fact asleep and needed to be nudged. Just shy of the three hour mark the meeting was over.
“Well, we got some good things sorted this afternoon,” my boss Jaclyn mused as we were leaving. “Sometimes you’ve got to just put your head down and power through.”
No you don’t, Jaclyn. No you don’t.
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"We can’t afford to do the work we want. We’re too busy to play the way we want." This is so accurate!
3 hour meeting...2 hour calls that say nothing at all, endless texts back and forth, selling our time by the hour to things we don't really believe in. Thanks for the reminder to value our time, and how meaningful that is.