Spending Time

I am self-disciplined and thrifty. I save paper clips and buttons.  I carefully budget my money and time. Having come from a family of grasshoppers, I have cultivated very ant-like habits. I have learned to put off desire ‘til tomorrow in order to fulfill duty today. Frankly, this habit has served me well.

Yet, approaching fifty makes want to learn to make new decisions about what’s really important, and to consciously decide how I want to spend my time. I used to treat money as scarce but time as endless; now, wealth signifies both money and time.

I always said when I had more time, I’d take up a sport, maybe learn to swim.  When I was less busy making a living, I promised myself to publish more of my poems. “Someday” I say “I’ll explore my second métier: designing with fabric and learning to sew.”

My condo has a swimming pool. I have friends who edit books. I have lessons with a seamstress (though I cannot find the time to sew). This habit of saving and waiting had noble beginnings, but now has taken on a life of its own.

How do I begin to shift my focus from saving time to savoring the time I have?

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Comments

  • Pedal Paradise  On September 29, 2010 at 1:53 am

    For me, doing the things I’m interested in has been more of, ‘can I give myself permission?’, ‘have I done all of the required things first?’.

    So, can I spend more time doing the thing I love, riding my bicycle? I’ve managed to raise 2 kids who will do this with me. I can plan trips with them and have a marvelous time, but going out for myself? Savoring the time when riding is easy and (relatively) effortless?

    Maybe shifting from time is what is coming, to time is what is now. Do we have to think of time as shrinking? As a shorter and shorter commodity?

    That feels like letting go of a whole bunch of stuff which has been building up over a lifetime – responsibilities, self-discipline. Re-arranging your life to serve you now, not some distant future.

    Gina

  • jillian  On September 30, 2010 at 2:38 am

    In the way that metaphors are also real, there’s some correlation between “spending time” and “paying attention.” And the connection you make in this post between time and money. Something here about the priceless currency of being present with what we really want and actually allowing ourselves to have it…This certainly is relevant for me at this moment in my life (and you and I are the same age, my dear). In fact I will go so far to say that it’s more than relevant – it’s an imperative.

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