Friday, July 4, 2014

Time Well Spent


“How did it get so late so soon?”

Dr. Seuss

“If you only had 48 hours left to live, would you spend it like you normally spend your weekends? If not, why spend 2/7th of your life wasting your free time? After all, free time isn’t free. Free time is the most expensive time you have, because nobody pays for it but you. But that also makes it the most valuable time you have, as you alone stand to reap the profits from spending it wisely.”

Jarod Kintz, I Should Have Renamed This


My time today went differently than I expected.  What I thought would take two hours took five.  The goal of five blogs today now seems overly ambitious.  Still, I said I would do it, so the least I can do is try.  I’m pleased, because despite the unexpected, I stayed calm and present to what was going on around me.  I even had fun.  Now it’s time to write. 
The funny thing is that today is a holiday, Independence Day, and I could be spending this time at the beach or grilling burgers or doing nothing in particular.  But I’d rather do this.   Doing this on a holiday is not a burden or a chore.  I want to write.  I want to be with my Muse.  I want to be in my Purpose.  I want to be at my house on the beach.  So if moving one step further towards my goal will help me get to my larger goals, then I’d rather be here.  There’s nothing wrong looking at fireworks or grilling burgers.  I would just rather be spending my time this way.
In a Twilight Zone episode, All the Time in the World, Henry Bemis was completely alone, due to a hydrogen bomb explosion.  It suited him fine as long as he had books to read.  I’m certainly not at that place, but I prize greatly my time to read and write. 
Being in Purpose is my way of giving to the world and of using my time well.  It’s not the only way.  It’s certainly not the easiest way, but it’s the way that’s been chosen for me.  Before the beginning of time, my Muse was chosen for me and all I can do is follow the leading.
It is an immense privilege to have time to read and write.  I have so much to be grateful for.  I am young.  I am healthy.  I have a home and a car.  I have food and a little money in the bank.  Most of all, I am grateful because I have been given two gifts: my Muse and time.
My Muse is always with me.  She gives me ideas and stimulates my brain.  She never criticizes me, but she has things to tell me and she expects my attention.  She needs my full devotion and my energy when I am with her.  What she wants most, however, is my time. 
Time is not always something I have.  In addition, it is something I don’t always use well.  Or at least I haven’t always used it well in the past.  Yet it is my most precious commodity.  Sometimes I feel great shame in all the time I have wasted.  Regrets, however, are useless.  All I can do is do things differently. 
If I could break time into categories, here are ways I could spend it best:
1.              Time with people I love.  This is always a good use of time, because it blesses others.  It puts them first.  When I spend time with others and devote my attention to them, I create moments that last forever.
2.              Time in my Purpose.  This is time spent doing the specific tasks for which I was created.  It may involve being with others, but it is specifically about the work and how it blesses God, others, my Muse, and me.  When I am reading or writing, I am using my time well.
3.              Time for myself.  This is time that I use to better my health, my finances, or my professional life.  These are those “moments of necessity,” when I do my laundry, go to work, go shopping or even play an online game.  Though they may seem the least meaningful, they are not to be despised.  These enable me to enjoy time with others and time in Purpose.

Perhaps all time is a gift.  Perhaps all of it can be used to bless God, others, my Muse and me.  Perhaps if I were to practice gratitude and presence in each moment, all of my time would be well spent.  I want to use my time now by reading and writing.  I’ve been given this gift and I don’t want to squander it.  There’s a great deal I can accomplish in the next few hours.  The results may be tangible, like three more blogs.  Or they may be more valuable, like a hug from one of my daughters.  Either way, I want to Get Started and Keep Going…and spend my time well.