When I was younger (the last time I ate), I used to divide my food to provide consistently equal portions of each thing as I nibbled away at them. For instance, I'd open a can of spaghettios, and after microwaving them to 1000 degrees Kelvin, (because there are only two temperatures for spaghettios: chilly, or magma hot) I'd divvy up the meatballs so that each one belonged to an equal portion of pasta. Thinking about this process, which almost certainly stems from some undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive tendencies, I started to think about precious resources, and how we use them.
The label precious resource is a pretty loose one and could really mean anything from gold, to oxygen, to tiny balls of meat approximate. These things are precious because they're limited and the demand for them exceeds their presence. Yet, even as we use, and trade, and barter with these things, their actual presence, or presence of the atomic structures they're comprised of, never changes or varies, it only rearranges location (in some cases to my stomach). The only resource we have that is actually diminishing as we utilize it - is time.
The average human being in the United States lives 78 years, or 28.5 thousand days. That seems like a long time (Why do it today? I have 20 thousand more days to clean out the garage.) However, as everyone knows, time tends to fly by at an alarming rate. It's actually been proven that the human mind experiences the passage of time at a faster rate as we age. So, technically, you're very gradually accelerating your use of these years, days, minutes, and seconds with every moment that passes.
This sounds a little dismal when you consider it in an objective, quantitative way, but redemption lies within. Because we are all going to experience life for a limited time, all of the time we experience is a precious resource, to be used and consumed carefully. If you had an infinite amount of time to discover and learn the world, nothing would be special, because everything would eventually be an object of expired excitement. I think given enough time, we could probably build contempt for just about anything.
Instead, we're temporary carbon compilations, hurtling through space on a rock around a massive fusion reactor that makes our skin look nice and keeps us from freezing to death. Everything we experience is new in some way, even if we've already done it. It's new because even if it hasn't changed, we have. I can think of a lot of things I did at a young age that I couldn't really appreciate then, because I hadn't been able to consider them in their entirety. With only so much time, it's our responsibility to make sure that it's time well spent, and even to figure out what that means.
It's not that some ancient guru, tucked away in a cave somewhere in a country we can't pronounce, has a list of things we should be doing with our lives. It's more that we won't know what fits in that category for us, until we try a few things and make decisions for ourselves about how we want to allocate our resources. I haven't been around for that long, and am hoping to have a lot more time to decide what to do with, but I think I've figured out a few loose guidelines.
I think time well spent is time you spend creating happiness, for yourself or for someone else. Time well spent is anything you can look back on and decide that you're totally happy with. It doesn't have to be perfect, you just have to be happy with it. If you're deciding how to use the most precious resource in the world, you have to realize that the people we choose to share our time with, and the things we choose to spend it on, should be worthy of our expenditures. If they're not, then it's time to do some re-structuring, until we can reflect on the way we're living and truthfully say that we're satisfied.
Thank you for giving me a few moments of your day. I know how precious they are, and hope they were time well spent.