Our Most Precious Resource
Can I borrow some of your time? I’m a little short.
It doesn’t really work that way, does it? Whereas I have a savings account with money that I can accumulate until I’m ready to spend, time is always passing. It is constantly being spent, whether it’s on something I absolutely love, dealing with necessities, indulging in a bit of foolishness or even on things I don’t like.
How do you spend your time?
Do you save it up for juicy experiences of pleasure? Do you manage your life efficiently so that you have the most amount of time for the things you really love to do? Do you sit quietly, observing the slight breeze making the leaves dance in the trees, so you can feel its slow, gentle passage?
Or do you blow it frivolously, not even realizing where it went until you notice that suddenly you are all out of time.
This is something I am becoming acutely aware of. It’s like a secret treasure that has been there all along that I never even paid much attention to.
This became very obvious to me recently, when I was struggling to fit in all the things I wanted to do: all the projects I wanted to accomplish, the friends I wanted to keep up with and the realization that I had very little breathing space. There was so little unscheduled time. I rarely had days where there was no agenda, no appointments, no errands. In fact, I almost never have days like that.
I started thinking about that being an unmet need. And how luxurious it felt whenever I had a few hours just to myself, with nothing in particular I had to get done. How insanely delicious that was. And the way I would try to hang on to it, as the minutes slipped by, until it was over and I had to move on to the next thing. I would look into the future, wondering when the next block of uninterrupted privacy would emerge. And that’s when I started regarding my time as a very precious resource.
So now I set aside blocks of time where I take getaways by myself, with two or three days at a time that are just for me. Sometimes I stay in bed until noon, lost in a good book. It’s hard to even describe how heavenly that is!
Once I started going away I found myself becoming greedy, wanting to do this more and more often. I think I value this sacred time almost more than anything else.
I am more aware now of how valuable time is, and how easily it can get squandered before we even realize it’s gone.
This is really about honoring our relationship to ourselves. No one cares when you run out of time. Nobody feels it but you. No one can give it to you but your own careful planning.
And it costs us absolutely nothing. Except mindfulness.