Spending time is an interesting concept. A peculiar phrase, but then again not really. We all have a finite amount of time. We only live for so long. We often say things like “I was spending time with friends” or “We spent two weeks vacationing at the Cape” or “I think I’ll spend Saturday just hanging out at home with the kids.” A question you should ask yourself every once in awhile is, “How do I spend my time?”
Americans have less vacation days than most industrialized nations. Unlike many European countries, we do not have laws mandating vacations. More and more Americans don’t use all the vacation time they have earned. As a nation, we really need to think about how we spend our time. Because like money, there is only so much time. And really, what is more important? If you don’t have money for a vacation, you should still spend the time. Read a book in a hammock, take a hike, drive to the beach or a lake, play with your kids, because before you know it, your time will run out. There is no time bank. You may not live long enough to withdraw all that time you were saving. Spend your time now, for today may be all you have.
Since I left New Hampshire to move to Florida, I have spent a lot more of my time the way I want to spend it. No more forty hours a week in a cubicle, an hour and a half each day commuting back and forth to the cubicle, fifty weeks a year. I miss a lot of things, my friends and family. New England, not the weather, but the places I love and the people. But the tradeoff for time and the way I spend it has been worth it. I’m healthier and happier and one of the reasons is, I have a lot more time to spend my days walking.
The car is at the Meineke repair shop getting a new starter motor for $535. Ouch. Not what I need right now, when I’m about to buy a house, sold off most of my furniture, and am traveling to Colorado soon.
I spend the day at home, editing my second novel, writing a blog, and walking the neighborhood twice, a morning and an afternoon walk.
My younger daughter is flying in from Denver for a week. I have to work with the Juice Guys in the morning then I have an interview for another part-time temp job, one day a week, in additon to the two days with the Juice Guys. It is in downtown Boca Raton at a marketing company. I wait in the small reception room outside a large room where fifteen young people work on Macs, tweeting and googling. It looks like a fun place, although it is very quiet, everyone working on their keyboards, staring at their screens. Two people ask me if I want water.
I have been developing an idea for a third novel. On the drive over, I ask my husband for some funny stories about house painting. I take notes, then realize I am writing on the back of my resume. That pretty much tells you where my head is at when it comes to accounting jobs. I ask the first girl who offers water if she can print a copy of my resume. She obliges. Phew! I’m sure the guy I’m interviewing with would be wondering about my cryptic notes.
Hey Emory, the same as before, cut it 50-50. Bouctouche. There was this guy… Seven girls in the cemetery.
I get the job. We drive to Fort Lauderdale. Our plan was to pick up our daughter, then go to the beach. I will take a walk. But it is raining. We drive to the Old Key Lime House in Lantana instead. We pass by the new house then hit the happy hour, eat fish fingers perfectly cooked in panko, watch the sunset. It is good to have our daughter here. I never get to take that walk.
We sleep late, drive Route A1A, hit the beach. Get in a walk, make dinner at home.
Our daughter, the culinary student, makes us a recipe she and her boyfriend have invented. Home fries, peppers-sweet and hot, onions, bacon, and scrambled eggs topped with cheddar cheese, run under the broiler at the last minute. Delicious.
We drive to Lantana and Lake Worth. We walk the two main streets of Lake Worth. It’s so hot outside, you could fry an egg. We stop at the beach for an ocean view drink. Back in the car, we drive into Delray, walk Atlantic Avenue, hang out in a coffee shop for an hour to escape the heat. Later that night we cook steelhead trout, broccoli, and ravioli alfredo.
Today I worked until one, my daughter worked with her Dad. I picked her up after lunch, we went shopping then headed home. I walked the neighborhood while she took a snappy nap. We are now cooking roast chicken with homemade croutons, her favorite dinner.
This is what your tuition dollars get you when your daughter goes to culinary school.
Tomorrow I will work at the new temp job, she will work a full day with her Dad. Then I have Wednesday and Thursday off, a half day Friday. We will see her again in Denver and Vail at the end of the month. We are helping her move into her off campus apartment. We get to meet her new boyfriend. She is happy.
I am happy too. Happy to be spending my time the way I want to. With my family, traveling, writing, occasionally doing some accounting. I am hoping when my second novel comes out, I won’t have to do any more accounting. But for now, I can handle it. I am grateful.
One of my all-time favorite songs is about wasting time but really about spending time in the best of ways. It reminds me of a summer day on the deck of a house in Nantucket, overlooking the ocean, a day we convinced some friends to take another day off of work and stay, stay for awhile. Spend your time wisely this summer everyone. Let the hours roll by/Doing nothing for the fun/Little taste of the good life/Whether right or wrong… I
In the end it’s never wrong, it’s always right.