Time Is Yours to Waste

ann and momTime is the great leveller. It’s the only thing you truly own in your life. It’s yours to enjoy, to organize, or to squander. And as a coach, I know from intimate experience that the people who are most fulfilled in their lives are willing to make tough choices about how to spend whatever may be left of their lives. Tough choices based on rigorous reflection and thoughtful intentions.

My own stare-down with the clock came when my mother dropped dead at age 65. DOA. I keep at the back of my closet the worn, plaid-orange houseshirt she was wearing on the ER table. There’s a long, clean tear down the right side of that shirt, where a doc tried to save her exhausted heart.

Suddenly I could measure the balance of my years, and even my hours. And I began to ask myself: What do I want to do with them?

Given that death is certain, and given that the time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing? — Pema Chodron

The other day I was thinking how idiosyncratic is my list of time-suckers. And even more so is my list of welcome pastimes. I literally wrote down a list. It’s my list for now, and I expect it will change, as it has in the past. I share it with you here only to urge you to do the same, so you can get clear about how you’re going to spend your life. Given that there’s no extra time that you’ll ever “find.”

Time-wasters that I refuse:

  • Looking for a parking spot
  • My husband running late
  • Housecleaning
  • Anything having to do with my hair
  • Buggy software
  • Long restaurant dinners
  • More than one call to a service provider

Pastimes that I embrace:

  • Doing 15 minutes of nothing a day
  • Weeding
  • Cruising garden/design blogs
  • Reading
  • “Flipping Out” video marathons
  • Gabfests with my sister
  • Trolling my fave consignment shop

How will you make your tough choices?

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