My cousin Jacki, aka Silverpixels, has a nice little habit of nagging me into action. Not sledgehammer nagging, mind you, more like a small army of gnats. She launches a series of light little landings that by themselves might prove ineffective, but in a swarm has me springing to action. You know, in a good way, not the psychotic, flailing, these-heinous-creatures-are-going-to-drive-me-insane kind of way. Well, sometimes it feels like that, but I know she does it out of love.
Jacki has managed to nudge me into my first craft show, my website, and now this blog post. A while back, she requested the topic, “time”, for a post. She was a bit vague as to what about time, exactly, but she’s artistic, she can’t be nailed down to specifics. I can certainly talk about my relationship with time, though, and even if that isn’t what she wanted, I’m pretty sure a fresh blog post will at least placate her for a little while before the next onslaught of tiny wings.
One of the hardest things for me to wrap my head around is that, life span aside, we are all given the same amount of time. Twenty-four hours trucks by each day no matter how we spend it. Whether I choose to be: in my pajamas watching HGTV, or hiking the Appalachian Trail, or writing a book, or reading Twitter, or cooking, or roaming around Target, or getting drunk, or working at a job I love, or working at a job I hate, or playing video games, or gardening, or worrying, or playing with my kids, or crying, or laughing, or watching the wind blow... the same hours tick by regardless.
There are moments when I am proud of the way I’m spending my time and moments when I am guilt ridden. Sometimes I forget to pay attention to the fact that this is life, right now, happening, and this is how I am choosing to live it. And sometimes I remember that fact and feel overwhelming anxiety.
It is interesting to me that some people can’t manage to do anything with their lives while other people are out there getting it done, making an impact in their chosen way. We all have exactly the same amount of time, though, even if it doesn’t feel like we do.
The difference lies in our choices. How and where we work, the size of our family and/or house, the extent of our social network, and pretty much every obligation we have started as a choice (and can be changed by choice). We have created our reality to include “spare” time or not. We have decided with our yeses and noes whether we are over extended or whether we have little pockets of time in our lives that are available when the call comes through that a friend wants to meet us for coffee or to have an adventure.
Another thing I have had to wrap my head around is that time is not money. Yes we make choices about money that influence the obligations we have for our time, but we all get the same sunrise each morning, the sheets we wake up under just might have a different thread count.
Actually, the whole time/money connection could be a whole separate post. No doubt a self-deprecating post where I would lament about bad financial decisions and how they can suck your life away. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be uplifting at all. Never-mind, forget I brought it up.
It is also true that if we are not healthy, time takes on a whole different dimension. Pain eats time. Come to think of it, Maslow’s ideas about the Hierarchy of Needs nicely sums up how different states of being are likely to affect how we spend our time. I probably should have sent you there first.
Anyway, the point is, I think it is human nature to want to accomplish something with my life. The problem is finding time to do it... making time to do it... using time to do it. It all comes down to whether I decide, every day, to get off my oversized rump and DO something or stay in auto pilot and drone through my life until it is over. I’d like to think awareness is half the battle.
And as a matter of fact, maybe having a swarm of gnats visit every once in a while is exactly the kind of motivation I need. Thanks, Jacki.
I like to throw things.