Time is our biggest asset, but also our greatest enemy. The start of a new year is a good time to think about what time means to us.
In terms of assets, heightened awareness of time means making more choices about how to spend it. I’ve chosen to spend more time with the important people and animals in my life.
That means making sure time is available for them. For the animals, it means budgeting time for walks and play. For people, in addition to having friends and family in our home, it means organizing pastimes that we can all explore together. These could include board games or day excursions to visit a: home tour, music or film festival, winery/meadery/brewery, play or independent film that might not be widely available, book club or other group meeting, concert, cooking demonstration, lecture, resale treasure shop, church, or play frisbee golf, tennis, golf, or go hiking. Exploring something together, both collaboratively and synergistically, has value. We can all be more and build more together. That’s important because we’re all mortal, and mortality tends to show up on its own time. Part of being human is offering support to others when and where we can because we all need it, either now or when we’re embroiled in the next crisis that’s lurking just around the corner.
We always think we have more time, but because of the mortality thing, sometimes we don’t. People live finite lives. We have to think through what activities we want in our lives and then put them in place, because if we don’t create time and space for those activities, the universe certainly won’t do that for us. So many things are important to our world including volunteer work, but we have to define individually what’s important to us, then schedule time for the things we’ve deemed important. If there’s something we’ve always wanted to do, we should do it while we still can.
For example, being healthier is important to me. I watch what I eat and drink. I schedule workout time 4-5 days per week to really push myself toward growth, including better balance as I age. I’m trying to carve out more time for sleep. I’m trying to read more and write more. Writing really pushes me toward growth. And for me, lifelong learning means stepping out of my comfort zone. Why else would an introvert force herself to get up on a stage? For growth. Lifelong learning takes many forms.
Spending time with my husband Steve, friends, and family, including our grandchild, is important. I schedule that time as trips, dinners, book club meetings, whatever. And making new friends is important, too. I try to overcome my native introversion by connecting with people over what they’re interested in. As a result, I now have occasional Wordle, Wordle-6, Spelling Bee, Waffle, and other digital games in my life, not because I’m fascinated by the games, but because they are conduits for connecting with people.
There’s an additional component to managing my time—and writing this piece—because Time is the name of my grand-cat, named after the children’s book Timecat by Lloyd Alexander. When our son and wife are out of town, I stay with my grand-cat. Time together seems as important to her as it is to me. I love having Time in my life in this very meta way. As I write this, Time’s on the couch with me.
Steve and I have a new old dog, Cooper. This small dog needed a good home, we picked him, and he picked us. This may be our only chance to ever have a Minicooper with four on the floor! What a gift this is!
So, I’m spending January giving thanks for our relationships—once again, human and nonhuman—and the infrastructures that foster maintaining them. May I continue to remember these important themes throughout the year, and if I am lucky and keep working at it, throughout my life.
Linda Lemery email@example.com wishes Evince readers a happy 2024. She welcomes reader comments.