Monday, April 25, 2011
T - is for Time
I often feel as though I can hear the sand flooding through the hourglass at an alarming rate of speed. The sound of it fills my being and creates a sense of anxiety. I get the overwhelming feeling of running out of time.
Recently I decided to do something about my little problem with time. As I was reading my Zen in the Martial Arts book, I came across a passage that talked about time. The author describes how we allow other people to manipulate our time. Time is life. When someone takes up part of our time, they are essentially taking little chunks of our life away. Now, if we are involved in an activity with another person that we enjoy or one that is going to benefit us, then we are "spending" our time. But, if we have managed to involve ourself in an activity that we really don't want to be doing, one which is not going to be beneficial to us, then we are "wasting" our time and essentially, "wasting" our life.
An example of "spending" time would be the time I spend with my son and my husband. Regardless if we are playing together or working together around the home, we are growing and strengthening our bond as a family. This is beneficial to all of us. On the other hand, if I allow someone to talk me into, or guilt me into, donating a large block of my time to help out with a cause I really could care less about, even though it may make them happy, I am "wasting" my time. This is time "wasted" that I can never get back.
Now, I am not saying that we shouldn't donate our time to worthy causes, but it should be a cause that we care about, one that is meaningful to us. This way, we are not "wasting" our time, we are "spending" it in a manner that will benefit us.
I have been guilty in the past of "wasting" so much time. In my attempts to not disappoint friends and family I would agree to things that would "waste" huge chunks of my time, which equalled huge chunks of my life. I am working to do less and less of this time "wasting".
If I do not truly want to do something I just say no. I do not need to offer an apology or explanation. It is my time, it is my life. When asked to do something I do not wish to do I just say, "No, thank you." PERIOD. If the person insists on questioning me about it I will say, "I do not care to do that." Now, believe me, sometimes people are persistent and it takes some staying power to hold your ground, but you just have to do it if you ever want to break the habit of "wasting" time.
I have found the phone to be another big time "waster". If someone calls me and I am in the middle of "spending" some time with my family or I am involved in an activity that I have chosen to do, I will not answer it. Now some folks get pretty uptight about this. They will say things like, "Well, I know you were home, why weren't you answering the phone?" My answer is usually, "I was busy." If they can't accept that, it's not my problem and I refuse to allow them to make me feel guilty about not answering my phone.
Time is one of the most valuable commodities we have. I have determined to "waste" as little of mine as possible. I am slowly, but surely, cutting away the things and the people who "waste" my time. I would encourage you to do the same. Time can not be forced to stay, nor can one single moment be retrieved once it is gone.