On Time

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“Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives.” (cue the violins)

Time.

What do we do with it?

Do we waste it?

Do we enjoy it?

Do we value it?

Who do we spend it with?

Where are we during most of it?

As 2016 comes to an end, I’m looking back and reflecting on how I spent my time. The Critic that I am looks at wasted time first and thinks, “Man, I can’t get that time back”. In order to eliminate these patterns of wasted time, I must ask myself the question: How can I value my time more? This is a discipline- not a fun concept, but so necessary in regards to time.

The Justifier in me speaks, saying, “You balance your time well. You should always have some lazy time.” This is true, but was my lazy time spent wisely? Did I feel rested after it? Usually not.

Often times, I ask myself: What did people do back in the day when there wasn’t all this tech everywhere? What did I do before Game Boys and the Internet and Text Messaging and Smart Phones and Super Smart Phones?

I don’t even know.

I mean I know, but do I want to do what I should do in my ‘free time’?

Here’s a list of what I (and maybe you) should be doing more. If you are already on this track, then I applaud you.

  1. Reading – not just fluff or easy stuff, but stuff that makes you think as well. We should learn how to value physical books and articles so not to tempt ourselves to delve into the digital.
  2. Reflecting – also includes meditation or just silent time in general. No screen time, no noise, nothing. Super uncomfortable for me. I find myself telling myself that after 5 minutes or so, that was good enough. Maybe 5 minutes 5 times a day would be good, hmmmm.
  3. Relaxing – doing things that don’t stress us one bit. As a teacher, I’ve learned that a relaxing vacation makes a happy teacher (I gotta work on this one). Really though, beach time laying out in the sun, drink in hand, book to read, notebook to write, food to snack on. You get the picture. After a week or so of this, I’m ready to tackle whatever the world gives me.

I’ll leave it at the unintentional, now intentional Three R’s. They’re a good place to start. Also, find a good friend to help you talk through stuff and the changes that may happen because of the Three R’s. Maybe you will inspire people, as others have inspired me, to think about doing these things more in their ‘free’ time.

Why should we do this? I believe this time helps us give better time to our work and especially to other people. Life shouldn’t be all about me, that would suck, it should be about giving our best to others. Half-assing work and relationships is lazy and disrespectful to others and yourself.

Learning how to spend your rest time well will hopefully give you what it takes to be good, or at least respectable to others.

The late great fantastically fashioned man Craig Sager said:

Time is something that cannot be bought, it cannot be wagered with God, and it’s not in endless supply. Time is simply how you live your life.

Something to ponder before, during and after the New Year. Sweet Christmas!

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