Use of Time

The average life expectancy worldwide is 67
Macau (in China) is 84
United States is 78
The lowest, Swaziland, is 39

There’s an enormous gap of 45 years between the highest and lowest countries. Wow, people in Macau live over twice as long as people in Swaziland. Interesting – but that’s a post for another day.

The point is everyone’s life will end – this time we have will end. Depending on the day, that is a good thought, other days it makes me a little sad. Each person in the world, whether they live to be 35 or 85, have 24 hours in a day – no more or no less. What am I doing with my time?

There are a zillion time management books out there and some are good. I do need to manage my time because there are many things in life to be done – so I need to be actively productive some hours every day. So do you … no excuses allowed, managing time is a skill that can be learned.

As I wrote in part 1 about Time what I call being productive with my time has and continues to change. Years ago, thinking about time would make me want to do something to make my time count in a tangible way. Get up earlier, put more hours in at work, clean a room, make a meal, plan an event, organize – all good things that need to happen. But when that is all my life is about – I burnout or get depressed.

Time is not tangible – I can’t touch it, hold it or box it up and give it to you for your birthday. So some of what I do with my time isn’t tangible either.

I like the lines that start a few verses of one of J.R.R. Tolkien poems …
“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen …”

Sometimes I sit and think. I am still. You see no activity. Not even a book in my hands. Sometimes it happens spontaneously after reading or hearing something that needs pondering. So I stop what I’m doing and think about it. Other times, I plan it out. I read or listen to something challenging or thoughtful and then give myself time to sit and think about it. A warm afternoon in my hammock seems to work good for this. And I’m realizing if I go too long without some thinking time, I feel discontented and annoyed with life.

After these times, I have nothing tangible to show for those minutes or hours. I doubt that I know more than I did before. I don’t think my IQ went up. And if it was a question I was pondering, I rarely have an answer.

No answers. Nothing productive accomplished. What’s the point? At times, I feel guilty for not ‘doing’ something with that time. Then I realize that I am more content with my life, I’m not depressed, I have hope and suddenly the things I could have been doing don’t seem as important. After all, an organized office is overrated and the flowers hide almost all the weeds.

Another area of spending time is relationships. Meaningful time spent with others cannot be given a price. This is an area I am and need to learn more about.

Guess I’ll go see if the hammock has any wisdom for me about that …

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