Time measured as a homeless person

As a homeless person, it is so very easy to just give up and give your life to your daily routines and addictions.  It seems that every help comes with a million hurdles attached.  Though people mean well, they really can’t understand that even though a person is homeless, time is not on your side.

What does time mean when you’re homeless?  For one thing, at times it seems as though there is too much of it and at other times it means that there isn’t enough.  For example:

  1. When you are wandering about on a cold day and nighttime is encroaching upon you, as a homeless person you would do anything to have more daylight and not have to fend off the cold of the evening.
  2. When you are on a waiting list for a shelter/apartment and are told that you have a 3 – 6 month wait, that wait seems endless.
  3. At times you are scheduled for multiple appointments with doctors, caseworkers, employment possibilities – all of these appointments are on tight schedules and you are on a bus that only goes so fast.

The only thing that I believe can make time worthwhile when homeless is to try and be as productive as humanly possible with the time that is available as a human being.  I see it this way, we are given 24 hours a day, about 8 of that is needed to sleep, the rest is what you make of it.  It’s hard to say to someone with no money to get themselves a day planner but that is what is needed.  Can’t get hold of a day planner, write what you’re going to do on a sheet of paper.  Write out the hours 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 on the left side and write your plans on the right.

I say this not to judge, but there was a time in my homelessness, where I just didn’t know what to do with myself, I was caught in a rut.  I hung out all day and passed my time riding buses and generally being bored.  I dreaded evening and I dreaded having to look at a calendar and see how I had wasted my time.

When you’re homeless it often seems that there is an endless amount of time and that it will never end.  The eternal waiting for something to push us out of our rut causes a person to daydream and think of things that will never happen, like winning the lottery or someone saving us, when in reality we need to save ourselves, no one else will do it for us.

I’m getting better at being productive and I have a lot of people to thank for that, but I also have to give thanks to myself for realizing that something was wrong and needed to be fixed.  All homeless people realize that there is something wrong, it just seems that there is never enough time in the day to fix it, or too much time, depending on how you look at it.


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