Time Enough for Love
Yes, I know, yet another Heinlein reference. but this one is not actually in regards to that book. Rather, it’s a simple enough question: are you giving yourself time enough to love the things that you love?
Things may be people, places, things, hobbies, activities, substances, animals, hats, or even the simple joy of a well-coiled charging cable. The question is, are you actually giving yourself the time you need to enjoy it?
Take me, for example. I love playing guitar. I love the process of learning a new song, of not only making it recognizable but then adding my own spin, my own style to it. Singing it with my voice, putting my own syncopations into it. I love my own bluesy version of “Stray Cat Strut better than any other I’ve heard.
But even though I have “inherited” my daughter’s guitar (a lovely Luna acoustic-electric) I’ve picked it up exactly twice in the two weeks I’ve had it. Both times I simply played the songs I already know, as opposed to exploring the vast world of free guitar instruction available on the web. Why is that?
Well, because there were videos to edit, and sites to code, and blogs to write, and yoga to do, and then there were cigars to smoke and TV shows to catch up on and then there were trips to plan for and bags to pack and planes to catch and now, when I have a morning when I would have had time to play…I am a thousand miles away from the guitar.
Some might say that I don’t love the guitar that much, if I don’t make time for it. I disagree. I don’t think that we automatically make time for the things that we truly love. Some might, but I think it’s far more often that we make the time for the things that we believe we deserve to have time for.
See the difference? If we’re lucky, we love the things we let ourselves have time to enjoy. We let ourselves indulge in that thing which feeds our passion. But far more often we will tell ourselves some other story – “You need to do this, before you can do that” or some variant. To some extent you can blame the Judeo-Christian work ethic, but I think it’s also a big dose of Fear of Missing Out.
Taking Action Against a Sea of Busy
The problem isn’t that you need more time–
you simply need to decide.
So I hope, as this weekend approaches, you can make some conscious time for the things you love. Want some help? Leo Babauta has 72 things you can do to simplify your life, which will make some room for those things you love.
Me, I’m going for reading. I’m going to try and carve a good solid hour of nothing but reading – no social media, text messages, nothing but me and some good old fashioned prose, sinking my mental teeth into a full meal of words as opposed to the junk-food reading I do while waiting in lines and such.
And when I get back…that guitar and I need to have a serious talk. Love requires nourishing, after all, and we need to figure out how to carve some quality time out of our schedules. It’s really quite easy, after all. We just have to decide.