Time is a funny thing, especially in the dew of the New Year as we look at allocating it for the upcoming year. I woke up this morning uncharacteristically and incredibly late for me at 7:30 a.m. with time on my mind. I found myself worn thin from trying to retrofit everything I needed to accomplish into the allotted waking hours of yesterday. Now, it’s 8 a.m. and I have nothing to show for the day so far. I have fifteen minutes or less to write, and fifteen minutes to get to exercise class at 8:30, including a wash of the face, a change of clothes and a car ride. After that I have a half hour training session, a five-minute ride home and two more hours to write.
As you can see, I obsess about time, with the specific time allotted numbers adding and subtracting through my head in a ritualistic fashion similar to the way some people add and subtract calories. Time’s our most precious commodity, right? The one everyone wishes for more of on their deathbed. The one leading to disharmonious marital squabbles. The one that leads to punching in and pink slips. Americans–including me–measure it in minutes. There’s never enough. Except when there’s a down day here and there, with a sea of time to navigate between morning and night.
I got a call from a dear friend the other morning. She’s one of the busiest people I know, but was frantic for company, feeling sad and desperate at the beginning of the New Year. She wondered if I could have a “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” as she called it, commencing at 8:30 a.m. and over coffee and newspapers at a coffee house with no pre-set end point.
I checked my watch while considering her request. How I could possibly do this with an appointment at eight, writing, and a Christmas decorating tear down schedule to adhere to? After all it was my time, my most precious commodity, right?
Then, I remembered the many times she’s put things aside in favor of me over the last couple years. “Sure thing,” I said, turning off my computer. “I’ll meet you at 9:30. Can’t wait,” I said, grateful for the people in my life I’m close to. Maybe the most important asset in my life was really the people I have to spend my time with?
As I gathered my things to leave the house I pondered whether my most precious commodity is time or people? Or would that be balance? I’m sure I can ‘fritter away the hours’ as I juxtapose the precious commodity question against my internal adding and subtracting of how to spend my hours of every day. Wishing you time with the people you love and balance for yourself in 2014.