Are You Trapped by Time?

This post comes from our Australia contributor, Miann Scanlan. Follow along with her on Instagram @freepeopleaustralia!

Normally I wouldn’t open a blog post with such a lengthy quote, but this combination of words had such an earth-shattering effect on me the moment I first read them and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to share them with you.

“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.” – The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom.

It was the last day of summer last year in New York, subsequently my last day in the city after spending a month travelling, alone, with the sole purpose to wander aimlessly and see what came my way. My last day in the city brought about these surreal and foreign feelings of guilt and regret. I couldn’t help but think I could have done more, seen more, absorbed more in the time I had left there, or better yet, if only I had more time.

That morning, I had finally picked up the book my father handed to me as a parting gift just before I boarded the plane from Australia, The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. Riding the subway to run some errands in mid-town I was completely paralyzed by the first page, which included the words by Albom, above.

Deciding to detour from my route, I got off a couple of stops early, found my favorite waiter at my favorite cafe and perched myself in the sun with my new book. A green juice, kale salad and two lemongrass teas later I had read well beyond the half-way point, looking up to habitually check the time. I had a plane to catch after all, but it made me think. I decided to stay longer, relax, read more — indulge in the time I had left in the city.


More than a year later, no book has struck such a deep chord and rocked me to my core. The central character of the book is Dor, who starts out as a young boy obsessed with counting, which leads him to be the first human to develop a system of counting and measuring time. He lived in the ages where we lived simply by the sun and loved by the moon.  A concept so many of us desire.

Life has its ups and downs, some moments are fleeting, some seem to last forever. The message here is that life is literally what you make of every minute. Next time you are sitting in traffic, standing in a line for a concert or even waiting for your meal, stop glancing at your watch or checking your phone for a message, and just take it all in, in that very moment, because when you are measuring life, you are not living it.


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My emotions beckoned here, I am on the verge of tears … this notion resonates strongly with me. Sometimes it’s so hard to slow down and just be; it can be rather destructive actually. Yet you concluded with the truth so endearingly, “…when you are measuring life, you are not living it.” I will absolutely be checking out The Time Keeperl your opening words hit me just in the way you described it for yourself. xo

I love this. Lately I’ve been so stuck in worrying about the future and time running out before I do what I want to on this earth. I do have days that I shut my phone off and try my hardest not to look at a clock, but for some reason I can’t fully commit. I dream of a time without clocks and schedules and places to be. My favorite thing is to relax and just take stuff in, but it’s a rare treat that doesn’t happen too often, if at all. I’m definitely gonna check this book out.


such beautiful words. A lovely post

You speak from my heart. I always find myself measuring the time when I am anxious or bored or feel like I should be more productive. What a superfluous habit. I am gonna work on this :)

Sometimes I will need to rest.
 I need time to think about myself and my life.


This is amazing, it gave me chills. This definitely sounds like a book I need to read! I’ve noticed that I tend to rush from one thing to the next so that I can experience as much as possible… but in rushing, I don’t get to experience things to the fullest extent and just take it all in. Good reminder to slow down.

xoxo Sara

This is probably the best post I’ve read since blogging, so much of our lives revolve around time and we don’t even realise. Definitely purchasing this book at the next opportunity I have!

Time has always had a huge weight on me. I feel as if it is big brother watching over me at all times and I am constantly thinking about it. How much time I have left at work, how much time I have to finish my homework, how long I will be able to sleep. But my stress escapes me when I stop worrying about the time and am just living my life or working on whatever I need to. Thank you for this post.
xoxo Kennedy
Northern Indigo

When I first came across “The Timekeeper” I was in an airport in Bangkok and the book just sang out to me. I had to buy it. I devoured the whole thing so quickly and I doubt it’s possible to finish the book without havig to stop and think about the issues it raised. It’s definitely up there with my favourites.

x Erin


I need that green watch.. Can you help??