Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Welcome to the Working Week 

What breed am I? Couch potato.

It was another long day full of meetings, conversations, planning and deadlines. Another late supper and another day that ended on the couch flipping between late night talking heads and their celebrity guests. The THC/CBD oil was starting to kick when I decided I'd had enough and stood up to head to bed. As I usually do, I checked my phone to see when my first meeting of the next day would be. Oddly, there were no meetings  because, as I came to realize, I was looking at Saturday in my calendar. Only then did it occur to me that it was Friday night. This is a day that shall live in infamy. The time I forgot it was Friday.

You often hear retired people forgetting what day of the week it is, because, well, why would it matter? I can sometimes picture the same thing happening to me but it never occurred to me that I might not remember what day it was because I was so busy.

The affluence of doing absolutely nothing is something I cherish. I realize I live easier than most but I don’t feel “rich” or wealthy. I think of the wealthy as those who don’t need to work to pay for their lifestyle and they don’t have to work to even build more wealth. "Money makes money," as they say. Yet it occurred to me that the freedom to do nothing but lie around listening to podcasts, flipping through a magazine or a book, or watching a film is a kind of wealth many cannot experience. 

I was looking forward to a recent four day weekend that I had hoped would be highlighted by a day on the water, relaxing while watching the sunset and an evening meal in good company followed by other days of biking, movie watching and merrymaking. Unfortunately, most of my time was taken up with chores, errands and the type of busyness that eats time for breakfast.

Over eighteen months into the pandemic many people have discovered the luxury of time. True, many people hate it but clearly many people are loving it. Part of the pandemic economic woe is simply getting people who were in crappy jobs to go back to their crappy jobs. Not that surprisingly, people in the service sector either haven't gone back or have taken a white-collar job, perhaps not as professionals but in some other sector entirely. There are even people who did have high paying, stressful jobs who gave them up to work reduced hours making far less money in exchange for more time. A lot of people have realized what I have always known: time is priceless. Yet, you can't really "bank time", let it gain interest, grow it in an exchange-traded fund, or save it like other wealth. You just have to experience it. These folks have been called "Time Millionaires". They are rich in time. You see, free time isn't really free.

What are these people doing with their extra time? Leisure. That's it. Taking the time to walk, nay, stroll somewhere. They're pursuing passions and interests or simply stopping to enjoy the world.

What would I do with all the time in the world? What I always do. Lollygag. Dawdle. Putter. Listen to music or podcasts, read magazines, news and essays, cook, eat, clean, nap and think things that may never happen. Spend time with loved ones. Life is too short for long work weeks (which, ironically feel very short). The more unpleasant a task is, the longer it feels it takes. Likewise, the more fun something is, the quicker it seems to pass. That's our perception's cruel trick.

Have you ever noticed the less you use your phone, the longer the battery lasts? It seems obvious but to me that's kind of it, isn't it? If we want our batteries to last a little longer, we should use ourselves a little less. It's no coincidence that phone holders that also charge the phones are referred to as "cradles".  Maybe we should respect our own batteries and return to the cradle a little more often. 



Post a Comment

<< Home