Time and the Tao of Balance

I am somewhat obsessed with time. The reason is years ago I read that “We don’t come with an expiration date stamped on our butts.” That did it. The insight fell in that I know how much time I have used but have no idea of how much is left. And, I embraced that as an amazingly good thing to keep in mind. Why? Because it lends an interesting perspective on the fact that we are all exactly in that same place. Mortal.

Friday at the gym, I was on a stair master and noticed the countdown timer on the readout. 12:21, 20, 19, 18, 17 ——-12:20, 59, 58, 57 – and it was interesting to watch each second, representing a second I could never revisit, tic into the past. The thought appeared, “What value?” How much is each one worth to me? How do I want to spend this resource? I was weighted down with lofty thoughts. I seemed to understand the intrinsic worth and value, I committed to using every second to it’s full irreplaceable value.

Until later that evening, while watching some goofy movie on Netflix, the images returned. Hmmm. It’s such a human thing isn’t it? Seeing the intrinsic worth of time and yet within hours falling back into the human reality of being tired and wanting something entirely benign to soothe myself. It struck me, that perhaps watching my goofy movie, in utter attention and focus, was using every second in a nurturing, kind, and productive way in the sense of balance. It’s not about using time, it’s about how do I want to experience the time that’s gifted to me. I don’t always need to be thinking lofty thoughts or using every second to produce anything, all I need to do is pay attention to whatever may be in these moments.

In doing so I show trust in my own operating system and my abilities to nurture myself, slow down, depressurize, and listen to my own needs in the moment.

I only borrow time, how I use it in the borrowing is always a choice,

Bryan Wagner

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