There is no such thing as wasting time.
It is one of the greatest falsehoods that have detoured my thinking with shame and fear and insecurity.
The concept of wasting time is rooted in the productivity worth culture. If I am not producing I am not worthy and I am wasting time. Your time. Our time. My time.
Time is not currency.
Time is breath.
Time is feeling.
Time isn’t owned or owed anything.
It’s where experience and being resides.
The time I have experienced in anything informs me in this moment. Whether it was time society rewarded me for because of study or applying myself or being in service to others. Or whether it was time that I considered I was numbing or escaping or avoiding. It all serves a purpose.
It was all time that I have lived. And I cannot get that back.
Nor do I want to.
I did not waste that time. It’s the foundation of my now.
Knowing and understanding and accepting how it served me gets to be a part of my practice. My practice of compassion. My practice of growing. My practice of surrendering and letting go.
On a personal level how I spend my time is the ticker-tape of my life experience.
But if I only see my life as a one- or two-dimensional video reel I can only see that ticker-tape in terms of equity, of zero sum. It becomes a cash register receipt. Goods received for the payment I made.
Even if I stay with that model, all of the goods are well received. And it was money well spent.
Everything that ends up on that receipt was a part of an inventory that I needed to survive. It was either a safety mechanism
a protective mechanism
a self soothing mechanism
or some thing that provided pride and security and self-worth.
Nobody’s cash register receipt is more valuable than another’s. And that’s where the analogy of a ticker-tape of life achievements and activities as meritorious or not has its flaw.
How I spend my time is not an inventory. It is not a Santa Claus list of naughty or nice.
Instead it’s like a playbook from football or a dictionary of chess moves. Kindness, patience, creativity, courage, humility, forgiveness, humor, loving, devotion…
I live my time in the moves I know, I’m willing to learn, I’m willing to be taught; that I continue to practice. Some more skillfully than others. The practicing of them is proof that I was not wasting time.
As long as I am breathing I am not wasting the time.
I am living the time.
I am being the time.
I am practicing this thing called life.