Time. I’ve been thinking about how precious it is lately. Shame it’s something we have to think about, rather than just know its truth with every breath.
I’m in my home office racing through my to-do list and I’m feeling light and happy. Inside my head, I”m singing,
“how good is it to have time? Time to do all those incomplete tasks that have been weighing heavily on me for months.”
Incomplete tasks and unfulfilled dreams turn precious time into mind pressure cookers.
We changed our lifestyle recently in order to eliminate that stress and stop wasting time living a life not fully complete.
I don’t think our lives ever can be fully complete. If they are, it usually means we’re dead. We can’t waste time chasing that elusive dream, but we can choose to live a life where the pendulum swings in favour of satisfaction and tranquillity. That doesn’t mean you expect perfection, you’re just happy to be moving on a purposeful journey.
Whatever your path, I know time is of the essence.
Before you have a real excuse
My parents are visiting at the moment. The other day over lunch, we were talking about their dream to travel to different parts of the USA. My Dad is a John Wayne, Western movies fanatic.
Ever since I can remember – watching the Searchers with him as a little girl – he has dreamed of visiting Monument Valley.
My mother has always dreamed of Martha’s Vineyard and the South, which thankfully, we explored together when we lived in Raleigh and they came to visit.
They’re both retired and travel within Australia a bit. Mum checked off a bucket list dream a few years ago travelling to Santorini. They have the time and some retirement money to travel, but now there’s one thing in their way.
Dad is heading towards mid-seventies and spoke of his concern of making Monument Valley. Those plane trips across the Pacific can be brutal, even for my 39-year-old self.
I’m sad that he’s so close to that dream, but time, in the form of age, might just wipe it away for him.
Waiting until the time is right sadly can mean you wait until it’s too late.
We were heading down that path ourselves before we made that giant leap of faith to travel Australia.
“Now’s not the right time. We don’t have enough money. It’s too risky. We’ll wait until later when the timing is better and we have all the ducks in a row.”
What changed that for me?
A health crisis. One that made me believe I was dying of cancer.
That’ll make you wake up real fast.
“I’m not making anything monumental of my life. I can’t even remember the last three years. Apart from my children’s birth, I have no meaningful memories. I have pain and stress and sickness. Is this all I’ve got? What the HELL am I doing waiting? Go now. Take the risk. What have I got to lose?”
So the Universe gave me a flying kick up the butt to change. Despite all the reasons why it shouldn’t work.
I knew the most important reason to make it work.
Because time is short and I have the opportunity now. I’m clever enough to take the risk and make it work.
I believe that is true for everyone.
I spoke to a friend the other day, who is taking the giant leap into that life she knows in her heart and soul to be the one. It doesn’t make sense, but I told her, now is the time for you to leap. All the doors are ajar and they are waiting for you to walk through them. This is your moment, embrace it.
Soon enough, your life will move to the place where you have a very valid reason why you can’t travel or fulfill your dream – your health and your age. Then what?
You must maximize your time and live your life so when you arrive to that end point you have no regrets.
Time is the only luxury
You have a finite amount, and with each minute you spend your bank empties a little more.
Why do most people want more money? It’s not really for riches and status, it’s so they can buy more time.
Time freedom. Time to do what they really want.
Time is a total luxury and we should bathe more in it like we would if we sat in a spa bath with a glass of champagne in a five-star hotel.
The question to ask every day is,
How am I spending my time? Is every single decision and action I take each day maximizing my time in order to create circumstances and fulfill desires that make me happy and feel alive?
Anything that does not contribute to this can go.
That includes all unproductive thoughts, anxieties and stresses. I know it’s not as easy as saying, “just move them out of the way.” We haven’t reached the ability to change our lives with a click of our heels three times…yet.
But, you definitely have the power to use your heels to move in a different direction. To embrace new ways of thinking and doing so that you can change the things that suck up your time spent getting dizzy in the hamster wheel.
What needs to change? How can I do this? Who can help?
If you don’t feel confident or capable now, how can you grow into the person that is?
Lean on others. I’m doing this more in my own life now. Even though I’ve more time to get things done, my time is still taking up with things that don’t fulfill me.
I want to maximize my time so it’s spent creating and being useful and purposeful, as well as having quality time for my children and my health.
I’m reaching out to more people. To do the things I can’t, to help me free up some space in my head, and work calendar. My friend, Belinda even told me the other day,
“You need to get a cleaner Caroline. You do not need to be doing the housework. You have more important things to do.”
She’s so right. My time is better spent elsewhere. Of course, we can only manage what we can financially.
Hell, move to Bali! My friend just has and gets a cleaner, a cook, and probably a butler for next to nothing. What does that do to your time and level of life enjoyment?
We’re not taught to think that way, so we waste time doing things we don’t need to be doing because we’ve learned to think we should and its heroic to do so.
Spend your time wisely. It’s dwindling faster than fossil fuels.
Now is always the perfect time
We’re so lucky to be living in this era. At a time when there is so much opportunity, the world is smaller, and the internet makes so many more things possible.
It’s easier for us to quench our thirst for travel. Our parents were raised with the culture that said working a normal job to provide for your family was the only path.
Travel was expensive, limited and involved long distances by slow, or multiple planes or even boats. Nomadic living was something ancient tribes and gypsies did. And you certainly wouldn’t be taking your kids out of school and giving the bird to the status quo.
Now we have so much freedom to say,
“fuck the system. I’ll do what I want when I want.”
We can work on our laptops on the best beaches on every corner of the globe, if we want. We can get competitive rates on airfares and use services like housesitting, couch surfing and Airbnb.
We can travel via volunteering programs or working holiday visas. Thousands more do it every year because they see those already doing it and how easy it is.
You don’t need a lot of money, we’ve travelled for over 17 years with little of it. That’s how easy and good we have it.
Yet people are still stuck in the hamster wheel, afraid and feeling empty. They feel like it can’t be for them.
But, it can.
The fears are mostly imagined. I know this because if I can do it you can too.
Look beyond the barriers and think in another way. (You must read this story, in case you missed how Amelia moved from saying, I can’t to having a holiday booked for every month for the rest of this year…and into next.)
I don’t want you to get to the point where you say, I can have my travel dream now, but I think I’m too old to do it.
You’re enough to do it now.
Make use of that time and buy memorable moments with it.
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How are you using your time? What can be maximized better?