Time is the Most Underrated Luxury

I met a new friend recently, who has travelled to 100 countries.  He works for half of the year, and the other half is spent travelling the world.  This setup of his has been going on for quite some time, and he’s quite proud of it.  As we talked of his lifestyle, he said something to me that stuck with me: “Time is the most underrated luxury.”  I couldn’t help but nod in agreement with this statement.

We are aware that time is something that we complain about in the Western world, that we never have enough of.  There’s not enough time to finish up our work load, chores, spend with friends, family, or self.  If you were totally in control of your time, how would you spend it?  Would try to get more sleep?  Travel the world? Be with your partner or loved ones?  What would you do with that gift of gold.  In comparison, he shared that in some third world countries he has visited, time is abundant.  Yet some of the people he has interacted with were wasteful of it.  They had such excess of it, they didn’t know what to do with it.  As he talked of his life, he discussed the importance of balance.  We want to be in control of our time and schedules, but not spend it foolishly, as one may do if they unexpectedly won the lottery. 

It’s an interesting concept to reflect on.  The past year I have left my traditional job, and own how I spend most of my days.  But even with this, I can’t help but wonder, where does time go? How am I spending my days?  I don’t feel time is wasted, but it is elusive.  It escapes me.  We want to be intentional with how we use it, but we don’t want to overplan every minute.  There must be space in our time for the spontaneous moments of life to arise.  As I look at this past year, the way I view time has changed.  In one year, I have fit in plentiful moments with friends, families, and strangers.  I didn’t really go to new places, but lived in new countries: France and Spain.  My holidays were spent visiting loved ones.  Collective moments were shared, new memories were made, and none of it was done in a wasteful manner.  I understand now why people take gap years or sabbaticals.  There’s a lifetime to be lived in the span of 365 days.  

How do you plan to spend your time in 2023?

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Marthe Troly-Curtin

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