No savings account for time

No savings account for time.  Never is this more apparent, more poignant, more obvious wavetunnelthan when you have spent the day at a funeral. There is no way to save your time. It is finite and the quantity is quite unknown. There’s no bankbook, statement or electronic accounting that you can look at and feel pride. Well, let me think about that. You can feel pride, about how you have spent that time. Absolutely. What you cannot do is save it, set it aside for a rainy day, to use later.

What about the idea of ‘saving time’ by doing something more quickly? It is a curious concept. It may be more like a Peter/Paul situation. I’m referring to the financial idea of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, which may have biblical roots, since those are both apostle names. I’ll check on that. [They are the names of apostles, but the facts of the origin are quite murky.  Here is one link from Britain that proposes some answers…]

But my point is that when I ‘save time’ by taking a shortcut while driving, I am spending less time driving and transferring those minutes to an occupation before I drive or after I arrive somewhere. Time is not saved, merely re-appropriated.  As for the ubiquitous practice of multi-tasking… My opinion is that there are no savings there.  I might say there can only be loss when doubly or triply occupied.

In general, we have the option to make choices to improve our health, with the goal of extending our lifetime, but there is no FDIC guaranteeing our time account.

At times I think I’ve been a time spendthrift (an odd word, being composed of spending and its opposite, thrift **) I spent decades busy with excessive care-taking, prioritizing the needs of others, mainly because I did not know what my own needs might be. It wasn’t until I began to feel the drain of ‘life energy’ on a physical level that I was forced to stop and consider my options.

I’m happy to say that when I take an inventory of those years, I have no regrets.  I had all kinds of adventures and more significantly, met and briefly traveled beside many interesting people. Some I remember more clearly than others, some I am fortunate to still have by my side, but all that time was not wasted. There was and is value and satisfaction, fulfillment and pleasure in spending time with other humans. And cats. But…

I still struggle to find a balance between time with people and quiet, un-peopled time. Although there cannot be a savings account for time, I find myself choosing to be miserly, more and more unwilling to spend my life energy/capital out in the world. I am going inside; I am loving going inside, sitting alone and writing or drawing.

I will give it to you straight: I am becoming a time hoarder.


**Spendthrift: a person who spends in an extravagant, irresponsible way.   The word derives from an obsolete sense of the word “thrift” to mean prosperity rather than frugality.

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