At work, each of us is assigned a billing rate which is used to calculate the fees we charge to external clients for our services. In terms of the company that I work for, the billing rate is an indiciation of the worth of the work that I do for them. It’s odd to think that to a faceless, fleshless entity, I am worth such an amount.
How about outside of work? How much is my time worth? It’s ridiculous to measure the worth of my time as a billing rate. To me, the value of my time is measured by what I deem to be of worth. Time with my wife, time with my children, time with my extended family, service in the Church, educating myself both temporally and spiritually, writing this blog… these are things that I value the most.
In spite of all these moments of extreme value, I am amazed at the amount of time I waste (although to some extent, this has been corrected since the cutting off of the cable). I frequently struggle with time wasters… you tube videos, incessant web browsing, lying down in bed for more than is needful…
And there are moments of value that I would love to add, but can’t bear to replace those of highest value. I would love to travel and see the world. I would love to go out and meet people of different cultures and distant lands. I would love to cook international dishes and savour the flavours that can be created on a well-seasoned wok. Alas, there are only 24 hours in a day, and these hopes and dreams must take a back seat to the moments of extreme value. Perhaps someday, I can afford the time to weave these hopes and dreams into my life.
And there is, of course, the struggle to juggle the things that matter most to me. Often, I find myself in meeting after meeting. And sometimes time with the children is difficult – especially with thre children under the age of three. But I cherish them all. For there is a hope inside of me that the service that I render to those in my quorum is of some use to them… to build their testimonies, their hope, their desire to help one another. And the time that I spend with my children I can never get back. In just a few short years, they will no longer wish to be with me and would rather spend more time with their friends. So I must make the time and make the most of the time with them.
And if I want to provide for my family, especially a growing family such as ours, I need to educate myself. I need to qualify for a job that will allow me to provide for our needs and wants. Finding the time when children are asleep or quiet enough is a challenge in itself.
But what about my wife? With all these responsibilities that are on our shoulders, I feel the most guilty. I long for the time where we can both go travel together and experience the culture, the tastes and the people of other places. I’d even settle for a nice quiet evening with her! I long to be able to hear her thoughts, unencumbered by lack of rest, uninterrupted by children whining or screaming… even just for a brief moment. She has repeatedly said that she is okay and that she understands that there are other things that demand my time. But it is difficult for me to shake the feeling that I have been taking her for granted… even though she, herself doesn’t feel that way (as far as I know).
Wasting time is time that I cannot afford. It is far more precious than the billing rate that my work has assigned to me. After all, who can quantify the value that comes from spending time with those whom you deem most precious to you? I must make every effort to maximize and increase the time I have. And I don’t have much to begin with.
Just a thought: Increase the time – invest in exercise.