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  • Writer's pictureLester Dela Cruz

9-11 am on a Saturday: The Precious Weight of Free Time

As I awaken on a Saturday morning, I am simultaneously enveloped in a sense of privilege and dread. The privilege stems from the freedom that the weekend brings—freedom from work, obligations, and schedules. Yet, the dread arises from an all-too-familiar source: the fear of squandering the precious hours between 9 and 11 am. This time feels uniquely valuable, a brief window of opportunity that I fear will slip through my fingers, leaving behind a trail of unfulfilled potential.

This anxiety, I recognize, might seem absurd to some. After all, the hours from 9 to 11 am are no more inherently valuable than any other block of time, say, 2 to 4 pm on a Tuesday. The truth, which I reluctantly admit to myself, is that I will likely waste much of this time. Occasionally, I may stumble upon moments that brim with meaning, but it's a fool's errand to believe that I can systematically maximize these instances.

The Tragic Human Condition

This internal struggle reflects a broader, tragic aspect of the human condition. As humans, we possess an innate desire to make sense of our lives, to find coherence in a world replete with absurd and nonsensical circumstances. We hold onto the belief that life, with all its randomness and chaos, can somehow be conquered, or at least understood. This quest often leads to suffering, as the pain we experience is not limited to the external world but penetrates deep into our souls, shaping our very being.

Contrast this with my dogs, who live in blissful ignorance of such existential dilemmas. They are content, loved, and secure in the moment, without a trace of worry about tomorrow. Their happiness is not contingent on the promise of future affection; it is rooted in the present, in the warmth and security they feel now.

A Perspective on Significance

Upon reflection, I realize that our significance in the grand tapestry of the universe is minimal. We are but fleeting clumps of particles, moving through time, occasionally crossing paths with moments that imbue our existence with a semblance of meaning. More often than not, we wander through life, occasionally touching on these moments of clarity and purpose, but largely navigating a sea of randomness.

In light of this, how do we approach the precious weight of free time, such as those hours on a Saturday morning? Perhaps the answer lies not in a desperate scramble to fill every moment with predefined meaning but in a willingness to embrace the present, much like my dogs. By acknowledging the absurdity of our quest for perpetual significance and accepting the inherent unpredictability of life, we might find solace.

We may not be able to conquer the absurdity of existence, but we can learn to navigate it with grace. Like the fleeting moments between 9 and 11 am on a Saturday, life is a series of opportunities—some seized, some missed, but all valuable in their own right. Let us then approach each day, each hour, not with dread for what might be wasted but with an openness to the possibilities that lie within the mundane and the extraordinary alike.

In this way, we might find that the weight of free time is not a burden but a gift, offering endless opportunities for discovery, reflection, and, ultimately, contentment in the beautiful absurdity of life.

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