I'm currently infatuated with the idea of spending time. It's weird I know, but the words we use define the meaning in our lives.
The idea that we can spend time as if it is some sort of currency is something I haven't given much thought to, and yet I've probably used that phrase thousands of times. Our time on this mysterious masterpiece we call Earth is an insignificant rounding error in the timeline of the universe, and yet time is all we have. How we spend our time defines who we are.
Most people spend most of their time trying to track down enough money to survive. They spend their time chasing down money to buy themselves more time. That cicular time vacuum doesn't seem ideal especially given the fact that you can never buy more time regardless of how money money you may or may not have.
I've had this rather strange and dark thought in the past. I only have 50 more years on this planet, if I'm super lucky, and there's no way I can accomplish everything I want in that short period of time. It's most certainly a crazy thought, but it keeps me focused.
This is absolutely my favorite thing I've heard on the time-currency topic...
You're approached by some all-powerful being who hands you a bag of money. You're told that this money is the only money that you'll ever have for the rest of your life, and that you'll never be able to earn any more. You take the bag home and count out every dollar. One by one. When you get to the bottom of the bag, complete despair hits you full force. You realize that you only have $18,250. Your first reaction is that this is not enough. You'll never be able to survive with such a small amount of money. Once you overcome your initial depression, you finally come to accept this for the truth and your mindset shifts. You place an extraordinary value on each and every dollar. You live out your remaining days supremely careful never to waste a single dollar on anything that isn't important. You then wake up from this ridiculous dream and realize that you are still a 32 year old, and that the $18,250 aren't dollars at all. That is the exact number of days you have left on this planet if you are fortunate to live another 50 years. Fifty years = 18,250 days. That's it.
Wasting vs. Spending
The opposite of spending time is wasting it. In our time-currency story, it's as if you have some giant hole in your pocket. You think you have all this money safely stored in your pocket, but when you go to check, you realize it's all fallen out of the hole in your pants and you have nothing left.
That scares me. I hate, hate, hate wasting time. Not walking on the escalator. Spending weekends in a perpetual hangover. Inefficiencies. Arguing. Voicemail. So many things try to waste our time. Ugh.
Time wasted is worse than pissing away money though. You can always make more money. You can never get that time back. Ever. It's gone. All you can do it try not to waste any more of it next time. But enough with the time wasting talk though. This is about spending time.
The whole reason I became fixated on the concept spending time is because I was thinking back on the amazing time I spent with my family this weekend. I went down to Atlantic City with my sister for an afternoon. I spent some good, quality time with both my mother and father separately and together. And I went surfing with my brother. The water was maybe 40° and it was snowing earlier in the day, so it was quite an experience.
I most thoroughly enjoyed spending my time with my family this weekend. It doesn't happen as often as it should, but when it does, I certainly try my best to make the most of it. I spent $2 of my remaining $18,250 in the most precious and memorable way possible.