There’s a meme that circles social media that says, ” Some talk to you in their free time, and some take their free time to talk to you.” It gets a lot of likes because it is pithy and hits a gong in our heads when we read it. Each of us tends to read it and picture others failing to appreciate us and share their time with us. If we’re truthful about it, though, we might also recognize a bit of hypocrisy in ourselves, as we are often guilty of the same inadvertent exclusion of people from our time.
Each of us has 86,400 seconds in a day, no matter who we are. We have to use our seconds from that bucket wisely. Work, sleep, eating, the “bureaucracy of living,” as I like to call it, and everything else that adds up to the sum of our life. It’s not easy.
It’s also a back-handed reminder to simplify your life so that you’ll have fewer obligations to keep you from having experiences rather than more things.
“Unconditional time” describes another person’s willingness to simply be in your presence, even while doing mundane things like grocery shopping, laundry, or any number of other things that fill our lives. People, of course, want to be with you if you’re on an exciting vacation or dining somewhere extravagant. It’s quite another for them to have the same spark to stand on the porch while you sweep it or on the couch while you fold your infinite laundry. If you’re with someone who asks, “What are you doing?” before sharing time and space with you, it’s probably best to carefully consider whether they are your person or not. And if you have someone who wants ‘to be’ in your space, regardless, you’ve found a rare soul. (Note: It’s toxic to insist that someone share all their time with you. That’s not what I’m talking about here.) It is the willingness to deliberately slice out time to share that distinguishes unconditional time from something else, much like the idea that love is accepting someone, even if they fail.
No matter who you are, it’s up to you to prioritize how you spend your seconds and your days. Therein lies the problem. If you demonstrate what’s important to you by what you do and how you allot your time, don’t be surprised if people fairly or unfairly make assumptions based on that behavior.
All of us feel like we should be apportioned two lives – or twice as much time. Our obligations often rob of us quality time or intimate time with those we appreciate or love.
For some, a little bit of the issue is time management. For most of us, though, we simply announce what is important to us whether we’re doing it consciously or not.
You get 86,400 seconds each day to divide up your life. Don’t let the bureaucracy of living blind you to the necessity of taking the time. You can’t “make time” anyway.
The average person can read this post in slightly under two minutes. That same two minutes is sufficient for some people to run 1/2 a mile. Take a couple of minutes to creatively reach out to anyone who might need to hear from you. Take an hour for others.
Love is infinite. But the amount of time you have to disperse it is limited.