For me, time is the most precious commodity in life. I say this because like everyone else, I don’t know how much of it I have left; I do know that the older I get, the more precious time becomes. I’m at the stage now where wasted time annoys me more than at any other point in my life; I try my best to plan living in a way that maximizes what I get out of time spent. I allocate and value time like a miser would allocate financial resources, as far as I’m concerned the old saying that “time is money” means nothing, time is immeasurably more valuable than money.
Please don’t misunderstand; some of my time is spent in ways that others may think of as wasteful – spending five minutes studying clouds, for example. I have what I call “time value yardsticks”, I use these to gauge how much time I should allocate to any activity or even inactivity, such as sleeping. The yardsticks are broadly based and have several sub-sections within each category, as follows:
- Learning: this is my most important category that contains yardsticks of time slices for all that interests me. It occupies most of my time and is very well spent; it gives me boundless satisfaction.
- Computing: sometimes this activity overlaps and merges with learning but not always, blogging for example, is not learning whilst programming sometimes is.
- People: I try to give time to people and personal interaction, sometimes it’s time well spent and rewarding, sometimes it’s not.
- Entertainment: most of this comes from involvement with the other categories and I enjoy the occasional movie, but TV is so silly and crappy these days that I seldom watch it. I’m careful and selective about what I watch and strictly allocate only the minimum time required, idly watching TV is a serious waste of time. Having said that, I never miss “The Simpsons” but would not insult myself by watching people demean themselves on “Big Brother”.
- Observing and dreaming: I find I’m able to trigger certain types of dream by thinking about things I’ve observed. Just before going to sleep I conjure up mental hypotheses about observations I’ve made; it often leads to excellent dreams.
I had early retirement forced upon me but I can’t say I’m sorry, the increased time available to spend on doing what I want to rather than what I have to, is a huge compensation.
I’m acutely aware that this life is my one and only shot, I won’t get another one so I’m trying my best to get the most out of it before nature recycles me. I know I will never come back but the knowledge that the atoms I’m made of might in the fullness of time form part of some worthwhile structure in the Universe, gives me comfort enough.