Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Time is Money . . . or Is It?

The previous post took me at least six hours, spread over nearly a week, to write and the only reason it made it to the blog at all was because I became so frustrated that I finally just hit publish to stop looking at it.  What was intended to be thoughts on making my home my sanctuary instead turned into a list of chores.  The chores need to be done, and I do need to get into a routine, but it just wasn't what I intended.  This whole "life re-do" thing isn't as easy as I thought, and it's a lot more glamorous in my head than in reality.  But, more items have been added to the pile for the garage sale - tentatively scheduled for Saturday;and I have kept up the 3-part daily rule - make the bed, wash the dishes and clear the table - for the most part; so that's progress.  Onward!
You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first. - Frederick R. Wilcox
While I continue to work on the "home as haven" plan, I'm working on my self as well. My "blueprint" for this area contains four points that I want to work on.  I'm sure there will be more as I progress, but this is my launching pad:

1.  Wise use of time
2.  Faithful stewardship of money
3.  Improve my health
4.  Maintain a "quiet spirit"

This post is going to cover numbers one and two - and money can be dealt with in just three rules.  I know how to practice stewardship, I just need to do it!  First, tithe (Malachi 3:10) - no cheating.  Second, help those less fortunate (and we live in an area where there are many.)  Third, "things" are never going to make me happy, so stop trying to buy contentment.  Cutting down (or ending) recreational shopping means less clutter (!!) and more money for important things.  If I have less, I can have nicer.
We buy things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people we don't like. (attributed to various sources)
Unlike money, time is a finite resource.  There is no way to earn more time, or to pinch minutes like we do pennies - trying to make them last.  Time marches on, whether or not we are using it wisely.  And there is no bank account for time - we can't check our balance to see how much is left, so wise use of each day seems crucial.

I'm hoping my retirement isn't too far in the future but, for now, I work an 8:00-5:00 job. Including prep and drive time, and a reasonable amount of sleep, that leaves me, at most, five hours of discretionary time each week day.  Five hours out of twenty-four to buy groceries, cook, keep house, do laundry, mow the lawn, get my hair cut, exercise, take the dog for a walk, call my mom, work in the garden, water the flowers . . .  And I didn't even get to "fun" activities.  And weekends fill up just as fast.  

I need to "declutter" my time, as well as my house.  In order to spend time on those things that add value and beauty to my life (as I stated in my original LUC post) I have to get rid of the things that rob me of minutes. The biggest culprit is easy to identify - smart phone!  It's not the phone itself - I mean, not like I'm making phone calls - it's Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and games.  I already broke the habit of games that attach me to real people (like Words With Friends) because that just guilted me into playing more.  But it's still easy to think I have time for "just one" game of solitaire.

I enjoy Facebook as a way to keep in touch with family and friends that I don't see on a regular basis, but it can also be a time thief.  If I had to go to the computer to access Facebook, I would only look at it once a day, at most, so why not just remove the app from my phone and take away the temptation?  Because 90% of what I want to post involves a picture, which is on my phone, making it so much more convenient to post from there.  (There is a negative, "drama" side to Facebook that I'm sure most of you have encountered.  That falls under the "quiet spirit" section that I'll get to on another day.)

Pinterest is one of my biggest time bandits.  I'm sorry to keep teasing (or threatening?) you with future posts, but creativity is one of the largest areas of focus in this life I'm trying to build and Pinterest fuels that drive.  However, at times it fuels it with Mountain Dew and chocolate, and I end up with creative ADHD - bouncing from one project to another and never completing anything.  Is there any reason to browse Pinterest several times/day?

I'm sure I waste valuable time in other ways, but they pale in comparison to the minutes that slip away as I stare at my phone screen.  So the next change in my Life Under Construction is to step away from the smart phone.  If time allows, I can glance at Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest during slow times at work, when I'm forced to stare at a screen anyway.  But during those precious five hours each day, I will look up, look around, and actually live this Life Under Construction.  


  1. Enjoyed this post. I heartily agree about de-cluttering life!

  2. The internet! If I got rid of it completely, I could be so much more productive!

  3. One of my big time wasters is my inefficiency in de-cluttering. I have good intentions, and I do attack my collection of "stuff" but, after sorting, the percentage of things I put back in my drawers, or in my closet or in my kitchen cabinets, that I know I will almost never, if ever use, is much too high! Why, oh why, can I not let go of still good stuff that I no longer want? Is it a holdover from my parents of the depression age? Doesn't Freud unfairly harken all our shortcomings back to our childhood experiences? Remember the lesson "Waste not, want not." It is time I modified my interpretation of that phrase to mean waste SPACE, want SPACE.

  4. My mom barks at me if I don't have my phone handy when she calls but if I carry it with me at all times, I'm tempted to just "check in" far more often than I need to. There are so many other ways to spend that time!