For years I had wanted something so badly, I craved it more than I can ever remember wanting anything else. It wasn’t a singular item or a material object exactly; it was something that I would daydream about though. I would make plans about what I would do with it when I had it and I would imagine what it would be like to have it. Oh, you can bet I dreamed and wished and planned for the elusive, but certain, day when I would have it. When it would be mine.
What was it that I wanted so badly? Time. Time was what I wanted. Not just any old kind of time though. I wanted time to myself. Time alone. Time that was just for me to use as I wanted. Time that was for my pursuits and dreams and needs - and wants. Selfish time that had only one focus, me.
You see, back then, when that was what I wanted more than anything else, time was a valuable commodity to me. I was a single parent, I had four young children and I worked outside of the home and ran my own business. Attempts at a social life fit in there somewhere as well. Volunteering, community and school commitments aplenty and all of the late night hours that went along with those. My time was given freely and readily to everyone else in my life. I didn’t begrudge the fact that this was my life, in fact I loved it. I thrived on the pace of it all and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
But time for myself just was never there. Each day when everything was done, I would fall into bed exhausted and imagine what it would be like to have even just a couple of hours to myself that I could do anything I wanted with. Even getting to enjoy a bath without knocks on the door and voices asking me questions and wanting to know when I would be done was unheard of back then. I craved solitude and silence. I couldn’t even grasp the concept of what an entire day or weekend just for me would be like. That was beyond even my imagination.
Now though, I have that. I have time to myself. Years have passed by, children have grown and left home and I have crafted my life after a change in circumstances into what it is now, and that life includes time for me. I have hours to myself. Days even, all to myself. I still have work and other commitments but the demands on my time that used to fill the other hours are no longer there. Silence and solitude are the standard for this new life of mine. So what is it that I do with the time that I so desperately wanted and that I now actually possess?
Nothing, for the most part. I wanted it more than anything and now that I have it, I don’t use it.
Do I spend hours writing and creating like I always wanted to, but never had the time for?
What about those imagined hobbies or interests that were going to be sought out “someday”? Still waiting on those.
What about me seeking out the little dalliances that pique my desires to explore?
Few and far between.
What about spending indulgent days doing nothing and feeling amazing about it?
The one thing that I have ever wanted the most is mine now, and I don’t even use it - and it’s time that changed.
Time is finite for us humans who live through this existence in our meat suits and the reality is that I don’t know when my personal countdown that began 51 years ago will come to zero. I do know though, that there is more sand in the bottom of my hourglass than in the top now and that means that I’m running out of time to spend it how I choose. There’s the saying that you never know how much you loved something until it’s gone and you no longer have it. I have time now, and am determined to love it while I have it. Someday it will be gone and done, run its course in my life, and I won’t be around to even have regret about how I spent it. For now, I'm still here and still have the opportunity to use it and treasure it.
Exactly….I feel this. So much time, have supplies to do, to create….and I rarely do. And I fret about it at times. Shoulding myself. I hear you on this. What I have realized is that I am always turning to reading books. This was always my first love. I was punished for reading under the blankets with a flashlight. Reading books were stolen moments. So now I read. Lots. And I’m enjoying it. Sometimes I feel guilty as this is not a productive use of my time. Or it feels that way….at this point, I read anyway. 📚