If Time Were No Object

A common meme lately, especially as advice to young people wondering what to do with their lives, is to ask “If money were no object, what would you be doing?” The answer is what one should be doing because it’s what they truly desire.

It’s a good question, and a great way to think about how you’re spending your life.

But, what if I ask myself a different question…

“If time were no object, what would I want to get done every week?”

How many things do I wish I could have down but didn’t? How many could I have done, if I’d just done them instead of worrying about if I had the time?

So, I jotted down the things I’d like to do on a weekly basis. Maybe more than a few times a week, but I figured a week was a good measure.

Here’s my list:

  • Go on a date with my wife
  • Build something in the workshop – furniture, stationery cases, or whatever
  • Network with people – stay in touch, write some letters
  • Draw/sketch/paint
  • Play with the kids
  • Grocery shopping
  • Write great content for the blog
  • Read – finish one book per week
  • Run (at least 3 times)
  • Write – on the various projects I have going
  • Practice guitar or tin whistle

So I put down estimates of how much time each one would reasonably require in a week. Then I totaled the time required for sleeping, work, overhead (eating, showering, etc.) and subtracted it all from the 168 hours in a week.

To my surprise, there was time left over.

So…how is it I’m not getting to all of the things I want to get done because I feel like I don’t have time, but I have enough time?

Clearly I’m spending time on things that aren’t on the list, and I need to manage my time better.

What would be on your list?

It Must Be Letter Writing Season

It must be letter writing season. The days are short, it’s cold, and I feel like writing letters.

The problem is that writing someone a letter has fallen so far out of fashion that writing one not only has no guarantee of a reply, but a reply, if received, is actually more remarkable an act than the original letter.

There’s one exception: Legislators. If I send a letter to a legislator, I will get a reply eventually. Even the President responds, although it takes longer.

For everyone else it seems that receiving a letter from someone is a little like seeing them drunk and doing something a bit silly. They’re wary and don’t know what to make of it.

“Yeah, I, uh, got your letter. So are you ok?” they’ll say, in a phone call later, or maybe an email.

The good news is that the handwritten letter has retained all of it’s power to convey a message with seriousness. The bad news is that’s all it has retained, apparently. Oh, well, the search for a reliable pen pal continues.

There are still places to go to find people to exchange letters with and I’ve given that a try. Exchanging letters with someone just to exchange letters is artificial, and it always seems to run out of gas. That or spring comes and letter writing season ends.

During letter writing season there’s more time to write and less demand on time from the yard (for some, anyway) and it’s not that hard to keep up with fairly significant traffic. Then spring comes and all of a sudden there’s extra cleaning, mowing, and myriad other activities. Letters go unanswered, and who’s to blame someone for not following an unanswered letter with another?

Another pen pal lost, and in the fall the cycle begins again.

At least there is enough going on in our world to give me plenty of reasons to write to legislators. It’s not the same as writing to family & friends, but getting a letter from the capitol has its own reward. For a moment I feel like an important message has arrived and I’m conducting critical business with our nation’s leaders.