It’s the resource we can’t produce more of, and the thing we most hate to waste. We spend so much of our lives trading our time for money, that it might feel strange, maybe even wrong, to spend it solely on ourselves.
Time is currency, but some of us allow society to dictate how we spend it. We buy into the notion that 8 hours in a cubicle is worth x amount of dollars. We invest in the idea that the work we do with our hands should have a monetary value attached to it. We spend the time of our lives believing that our usefulness is measured in labor.
But what if it isn’t?
Are you only of use on the days you work? If you are a singer, are you less valuable on the days you rest your voice? Is it possible to be of use and at rest simultaneously?
I think the answer is yes.
Capitalism is a hell of a drug. It makes us confuse time with labor with money with worth. It tricks us into believing we are of no use when we aren’t actively contributing to this race, this machine. We are deceived into believing we lack value when we aren’t giving of ourselves, working for someone else, or toiling away at something. I reject all of the above.
I do believe we need to break up with this idea that labor = utility. We are not useful because we work. We are useful and we work. We are useful and sometimes we don’t work. We are worthy of love and respect and being cared for no matter what. I don’t want to reach the end of my “working days” to find it challenging to rest. I don’t want to ever feel guilty, or ashamed, or anxious, or anything remotely negative about how I choose to spend my time. Ever.
What if the best use of your time is spending the day at the park or staring at an ocean?
Look, I get it. Money is important. The older I get, the more I realize we don’t need as much of it as we think. The world as we know it takes money away when you take time away. And that is the symptom of a grave disease.
I do believe sometimes certain experiences come along to remind us that we only get one life. How we choose to spend (I mean live) it… well, we’ve got more options than we think.