Spending time like money

Choosing what I want to focus on and how to spend my time becomes more important to  me every day. I will confess that I’ve never been particularly adept at making or keeping to green-dotsa budget. This is true of my relationship with money and perhaps more tellingly, my relationship with time.

The thing is, the world keeps me on track about money. Bills must be paid, food and clothing purchased and one must plan for eventual retirement. Therefore I am forced to pay attention to money. Time, with the exception of hours committed to an employer, appears to be more fluid, less quantifiable. So much gets spent without a thought and when it is used, it is gone.

I am reminded of a book, written by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin and published in the 1990s, called Your Money or Your Life. It is a fascinating and challenging guide to transforming your relationship with money.  Definitely a book worth checking out. Full disclosure, I did not even come close to completing the nine steps in the process. It was too challenging for me, but I did read the book and many of the concepts really rang true for me.  {Quotes taken from an online summary of YMOYL.)

For instance:

Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for.  Our life energy is our allotment of time here on earth, the hours… available to us. When we go to our jobs we are trading our life energy for money …Life energy is tangible, and it’s limited and irretrievable and because our choices about how we use it express the meaning and purpose of our time here on earth.

And this:

When we are not taking our identity from our jobs, we are identified as consumers. According to the dictionary, to consume is to ‘destroy, squander, use up.

Ouch!

One question from the book that has stayed with me over the years is this: “Did I receive fulfillment, satisfaction and value” from this thing on which I spent money?

Fulfillment, value and satisfaction. When I take this question and apply it to how I spend my time, I am dismayed at how often the honest answer is ‘no’. And I ask myself, so what am I doing?

“How we spend our days… is how we spend our lives.” Annie Dillard from The Writing Life

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One thought on “Spending time like money

  1. Really enjoying your blog. Good thoughts to remember. Sorry abut your father-in-law. Please pass my condolences on to the family.

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