How do you spend your time?

The only thing that has any currency, the only thing that’s worth anything in the world is your time.

–Rob Thomas

There’s a reason the expression is “spend your time.”  Time is valuable.  The time you spend here, you don’t have anymore to spend there.  How do you spend your time?  Do you spend it on that which is important to you?

My sister Sarah and I were having a conversation tonight, discussing contentment.  One thing we talked about was that we often try to fix discontent with stuff to fill time.  “Activities.”  “Interests.”  “Hobbies.”  But then what you end up with is many obligations that you don’t really care about, and no time to do the essentials like laundry and grocery shopping.  This lack of time for that which you can’t do without leads to stress, which of course, breeds discontent.

In my personal experience, one example is cooking food.  I enjoy cooking, very much.  But on a busy day, I go to work and have an obligation or two in the evening, cooking for myself becomes an obligation, a chore, a dreaded task.  The reason?  I feel that when I go grocery shopping, I must have on my list the ingredients to at least one brand new recipe.  I also feel that since I know how to cook and I like to cook, everything should be made from scratch.  It saves money, and it’s healthier, and I know how to do it.  But those methods, cooking from scratch, cooking things I’ve never made before, take more time.  On a typical weeknight, time is at a premium.  So I need to decide, what is important to me?  If I make something familiar, easy, and that I already know I like, it breeds peace.  On a lazy Saturday, or on the random night when I do have time and interest to do so, I can always take a special trip to the store for any missing ingredients to a new recipe.  But on the routine shopping trips, it is better for my situation to stock up on food that doesn’t cut so much into my time “currency.”

Another example for my life is scrapbooking.  I like having the scrapbooks, the organized and stored memories.  But I don’t particularly enjoy doing it so much that it makes it worth the time investment.  So I’ve found that posting my pictures on my blog is a much better time investment for me.  It doesn’t take long, it doesn’t take cutting and gluing, I can easily add my own little descriptions of what happened and what I want to remember, and I can look at it whenever I want.  For my time, for what’s important to me, that’s best.

On the other hand, what is something that is very important to me?  Honestly, it depends on the day.  You know that.  We are never the same today as we were yesterday.  But usually, playing my piano is at the top of my list.  Why?  I don’t know.  Do I need a reason?  It’s important to me.  That’s all I really need to say. 

The other thing that is worth my time is exercise.  I get in bad habits of not working out, but the benefits are so worth taking the time.  I sleep better, I actually need less sleep, I feel better, I don’t really get sick when I’ve been working out regularly, I eat better.  I feel better.  That’s really the payoff.

So, what’s important to you?  What is worth spending your very valuable time?  Only you can figure that out.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Doris
    Aug 28, 2008 @ 10:08:26

    Learning something every day and making a positive difference for one other person every day. That is what makes my day a successful day. Everything else above that is bonus. (That way I can change my mind everyday what I want to learn and how I want to make a difference.)


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