Do you spend your time or invest your time? Spending time is a one time thing, while investing time can yield rewards for years to come. Time is a truth teller. It whispers what we really value in the way we use it.
Recently, I read this article by Jon Acuff and it stopped me dead in my tracks. Truth Bomb right between the eyes. So I turned off Netflix, stopped multi-tasking and paused to ponder the reality of how I was spending my time.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of downtime- it gives us a chance to step away and recharge. The key is doing so intentionally. Investing our time in relaxing is wise and restorative. Spending time without thinking is the danger.
When I had a full time private therapy practice, I would come home on Monday beat spent and with little ram space for anything that was not catastrophic and/or urgent. Due to my state of mine and soul, the kids knew if they weren’t bleeding, they needed to ask their dad for help. And the safest place for me to be after on evening of dealing with hard, stressful, heart breaking cases was in front of some mindless TV , with a nice glass of wine.
Intentional downtime! Planned, and invested with intention, so I could be human again. The upside was that some mindless TV usually meant one of the reality TV shows the kids were watching (have to keep up with what the lunch room gossip is about) So it was a pseudo family time, in physical closeness , or proximity at least.
This counts as family time – right!!?
The biggest takeaway from Jon’s article was a reminder to be aware of where our time is going. Are we intentionally investing it or squandering it. Are willing to take ownership of or the outcomes of our time expenditures?
Time IS the most precious commodity as it is finite, relentless and irretrievable once it is spent. Investing time, means there is a eye to what this will later yield to move us toward a goal in business, relationship, health, life. There is a ROI on the time we invest for specific purposes. Easily visible at times, obfuscated at others, but investing or spending Time marches on.
Time to veg out and watch Netflix can be restorative or wasteful, depending on our posture and plans
Time with the kids can be relationship building or reinforcing the lack of presence, depending out depth of engagement.
Time can be spent, squandered, wasted or invested, redeemed and enjoyed to the maximum potential. It really is all about why we are spending our time in any given way.
Vacation in the loooong car ride: sure there is screen time, but is there also , read aloud books by the non driver, are there discussion about interesting topics, and how about the license plate game, and a-z! – the things kept us engaged as a family before the iphone changed it all! Our kids still talk about “those car trips where mom made us play games together!” And as adults our three kids are friends!
So take a few minutes and look at your calendar.
- What does it say about your priorities regarding work, home, relationships, dreams, plans, goals?
- And where do you need to make some adjustments?
I am already revising mine! 🙂