Not long ago a friend of mine posted an image on Facebook. It was a screenshot of a spreadsheet her husband was working on to ensure that the way they were spending their time was in alignment with their core values. It was late, I scrolled past it, my brain registering a quiet grumble of protest that that sounded way too structured for me.
But my mind keeps coming back to it.
We talk to our children a lot about the spending of money. About the value we place on things. As a society we focus on a lot on those numbers, those figures we associate with value and happiness, security, intelligence. There’s a huge focus on dollars, which is interesting, because you can earn more.
You can’t earn more time, you can’t even borrow it.
We enjoy the luxury of believing we have a certain amount of it, but the truth is we don’t know. No one does. What we have with certainty is now – this day. The sad person, happy person, unfit person, healthy person, rich person and poor person, the bored person and busy person – they all have this. Their experience of it differs greatly, but we all build what we have from these moments.
We get caught up in the idea that we are what we think, that we’re our ideas, concepts and wants. It’s true, in part, but in a bigger part: we are this day.
We’re what we do with the time we have.
How we spend it is our truth. The rest is words, assurances or excuses we use to build ourselves up or tear our dreams down. I’m talking about you, about me, about all of us.
Our time doesn’t lie, what we do with it is the most honest reflection of what matters to us.
When I was growing up my mother used to say “Whatever you’re doing, do it well. If you’re working, work hard, if you’re relaxing, relax fully.” I’m still getting the hang of this, most of us are.
I’ve admitted to myself in the past couple of weeks that I need to work on my spending habits, and not the wallet kind. I spend the most part of my days joyfully focused on my children, and I wouldn’t change that for the world, but there are still wonderful little pockets of time that I don’t use to lift myself up – and I can. There will always been housework, study or work, but in every day time exists that’s yours. How are you spending it?
That spreadsheet doesn’t seem like a bad idea after all….
Copyright Nirvana Dawson 2013