Spending time

What do I do with my valuable time? Well, let’s see. I like to organize things—wait. No I don’t. I actually like to organize ideas, not things; my closet is a mess (a controlled one, like Einstein’s desk). So years ago I came up with a system to organize my nearest and dearest into two camps: high maintenance and low maintenance. It’s not quite what you may think, though.

There are people in my life that require constant contact to maintain a sense of intimacy; they’re not especially difficult people or anything; they just get lonely faster. These are my high maintenance folks and thank God for them. They’d be the first to notice if I were abducted by aliens or lost my phone.  My high maintenance people tend to communicate everything. Finding out what they’ve been up to is effortless. They’ll share because it’s what they do.

Then there are my ever reliable low-maintenance loved ones. These are the people that no matter the time or the distance, after the initial excitement of reconnecting, they continue the conversation as if we had last spoken yesterday. They don’t even know what the term awkward silence even means. Seriously, I reconnected with one of them a few months back and after about fifteen years of time apart, when we saw each other it made zero difference. (Yes, BB, I’m talking about you.)

To keep up to speed with my low maintenance people, on the other hand, I need a system. I like to ask for tell-me-three’s, like “tell me three completely new things you’ve done since we last talked.” (Warning: This can lead to TMI and by that I mean actual TMI, not the YouTube channel TMI. I ask anyway.)

What on earth does this have to do with yoga? Well, part of my yoga practice involves fomenting a sense of gratitude and generosity. For me, that means time. (To my nieces and nephews: breathe, you’ll still get Christmas presents and chocolate will always be a meaningful part of our relationship.)

In my experience, the only thing of real value is the one thing that can’t be replaced no matter how much material wealth or power you have… and that one thing is time. If you’re a super extroverted person who wants nothing more than to be surrounded by people at all times, sharing your time is probably the easiest thing in the world for you, and that’s awesome. Let me just say that it’s a big deal for someone who loves to spend time alone writing, reading, painting, and tinkering with websites all day.

Still, whether you give away your time easily or have to encourage yourself to do it, I still think it is the most absolutely precious thing you have.

So thank you, a million times thank you for every second that you’ve ever shared with me. I absolutely notice and it means the world to me.

Photo source: Flickr, labeled for reuse


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