Sunday, March 22, 2015

Time In Bottles

The recipe calls for three hours to cook, so we save it for a day when we have three hours.

The job calls for commuting or traveling or being on call at all hours, so we save it for a time when we will have enough hours to do all of that.

The parent-teacher conferences call for midday or early evening availability for just a few moments of discussing our child, so we put them off until we can manage the schedule.

It seems that every part of life is a question of managing our time--of finding or stealing hours where they just don't exist, of choosing what things are worth the time, and what things aren't, of counting hours and squeezing in minutes, just so we can get to everything we need to and a few of the things we want to. Back in high school, when I won an award for "wisest use of time," it was simply a question of doing more than just studying--of investing my energy in things that would help the school community. These days, using time wisely seems to require so much more. If I have the time to help my family or community emotionally, that usually means that I am in no position to help them financially. If I make the time to build my skills or build my base of contacts, that usually means that I am not making the time to make dinner or a clean apartment. In school, maybe it was enough to go a little beyond my schoolwork. These days, "wisest use of time" is a relative term, one that seems to require negotiation every step of the way.

Today, I took the three hours to make the recipe. I stole a few minutes to build a skill and add a contact. For a bit of time, I was there to help my family emotionally. And before I knew it, my time was up. I guess I just thank goodness that the clock starts all over again tomorrow.

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