Don’t Waste the Time…
“Don’t waste the time. Time is the final currency, man. Not money, not power — it’s time.”
Wise words by an incredible man. But I would change it to say that time is the only currency, man. Time is the only thing that really is of value. Not in the final analysis, but in any analysis.
And I have wasted so much fucking time. Mostly being afraid. Of you. Me. Everything and everyone.
The most precious thing I can give to anyone is my time. And even having said that, I know that there are so many people who do not value the time that I give. And I know, for sure, that I have failed to value the time given to me…
My son arrived home last night. Kicked out of another place. So now he is here, taking my time and he doesn’t value it at all. Because he appears to be incapable of truly valuing anyone’s time but his own. And I would make the argument that his own time is what he values least.
I am trying my best to put on a brave and cheerful face. Really. But it is hard and I am afraid of what will come, of how my life is going to change, how much I am not able to alter the course for all of us. I find myself at the helm of this home ship and I don’t even know how to sail.
So it helps me to remember that it all about time. What I do with it. How I value it. How and when I give it. There are 1440 minutes in each day, do I squander them recklessly? Or do I pack as much in as I can, while staying present to the horrors of life or the moments sublime?
Well, like everyone else, it really depends on the day, or the minute.
I feel like I turned a corner with work yesterday only to end my day yesterday feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I love my son. But his presence back in the home made me feel out of control. I felt like I was drowning. I felt panicked and scared and like I was being asked to take the helm of some mighty viking vessel except that I do not know how to sail, am not a Viking, have absolutely no battle skills (Viking sailing always seems to involve great, bloody battles and um I don’t know how to do that and I really, really don’t want to…) and I get sea sick, like every fucking time.
To say that I am in it is an understatement.
But it is really all about time and how I think about it.
My son has 7 months left of childhood. He is either going to follow my rules or not. There is little to nothing I can do about him and his actions. Those belong to him. And I am too weary from fighting him for the last 17 years to continue to fight. So I surrender to the fact that he is going to do what he is going to do. And between now and August 26th I am somewhat stuck with very limited options.
Now, I would be lying if I didn’t say that it feels, on some levels that we have all been sentenced to 7 months of hard labor. And to some degree we have. But it is time. And we are allotted tiny increments each day we call minutes. Which build into hours and then days, weeks and months. But none of those larger chunks of time are spendable. I cannot spend an hour or week or month. I can only spend the minute I am in.
Every minute of every day I have a choice in how I use the instant time I have. I can be morose or angry or depressed or volatile or controlling. It is my decision really. They are my minutes. But since none of knows how many minutes we have in our proverbial life bank, we have this tendency to only value the minutes we get when we come up against a race against time.
We get cancer and we are concerned with time.
We get into a car accident, we are concerned with time.
We near the end of our lives, we are concerned with time.
If you think I am wrong, talk to a young, healthy person…you will see.
As a rule, alcoholics and addicts are the worst managers and appreciators of time I have ever known. We waste it and our lives in pursuit of numbing and checking out, to the exclusion of really being alive at all. Zombies are real. Spend some time with someone in the depths of their disease and you will see what I mean…
But fuck, get one of us sober and living by spiritual principles and we can live the fuck out of every single minute…one day at a time.
So today the choice is mine…I can take the minutes I am given to live today and I can be morose and brooding, angry and retaliatory. I can hate and fear and worry and complain. None of that really changes anything. I will never get these minutes back. None of them. And something I have noticed about time…it spends so easily. We are reckless in our belief that there is more to be had when each of us lives every day with an expiration date that we can never know.
So in tribute to the late Mr. Crosby whose time has ended. Well the minutes he gets to live anyway…we all still get to spend our minutes remembering him, loving him, keeping all his minutes alive and kicking.
And that is the weirdest and most amazing thing about time…is that we can vicariously spend others time. We can be the problem, the irritant, the solution, the support. We can use our time and lives to better those around us…even when those around us appear hell bent on feverishly burning the generous time and life they have been given.
I get to show up and spend my minutes today. It is the only currency that matters. I would even argue that it is really the only true currency ever. Money is created over time. Power is amassed over time. Time is the foundational ingredient of life that we all have, misunderstand, misinterpret and discount, until we wake up and realize that one of life’s greatest pleasures is being unconcerned about time. Being allowed the foolhardy belief that time is abundant. That time is resplendent. That time is not what it is all about, man.
No, my talented teacher David. Time is all we are given and how much is never known. Thank you for all the time you gave to all of us. Thank you for using your time to make the beautiful music that changed our lives. Thank you for using all your time to teach us things just like this. I am not going to waste the time…well, I am going to do my best not to waste the time. Instead, I am going to break life down into the minutes of the day and fucking cherish the fuck out of them. Most especially with my son, my daughter, my family, my lover, my friends, my animals.
I am going to listen. Give time, time. Be present, alive, patient and trust that all that comes has its purpose and reason. And I may never know the why’s, I am only supposed to learn, change, grow and be amazed that life is all about the mother fucking time. That time is EXACTLY what it is all about, man.