Today’s post is just a short musing. My days have been very busy lately, with work, school, and preparing for our upcoming vacation. The veritable circus of animals that require my love and attention has been quite disappointed when I shut the door to my office so I can focus on another assignment. I can often see a tail or a paw under the door like some kind of adorable zombie outbreak. There are times, like the past two days, when I don’t see Sean except for a quick pass by in the kitchen as I grab something to eat and the few minutes we talk before falling asleep (if he isn’t already asleep by the time I crawl into bed).
Time is something we talk about multiple times (see?) a day. We check the clock often; We have reminders on our computers and cell phones; We live in a scheduled calendar with deadlines and due dates.
I honestly live for a busy life. I always have. In high school, I was in at least three different clubs at any time, participated in activities at my church, culminated a long list of hobbies at home, and had a voracious appetite for any and all books I could get my hands on. In college, it was much of the same, but I also worked at least two jobs, had two majors, took enough courses each semester to graduate in three years, and usually had a very active social life. Now, I am working a (more than) full-time job, taking two courses a semester in my Masters Program, trying to keep up with my hobbies (like this blog), and maintaining my relationships with my husband, my family, and my friends. I thrive on having a full schedule. In fact, I get a thrill out of organizing my time so that I can feel that slight rush, yet have a perfectly crafted calendar.
Don’t get me wrong: I love solitude and calm. My favorite time of day is early morning or late night when it is quiet and I am sitting with sleeping animals surrounding me, a book in my hand, and a cup of tea next to me. But I, as my Protestant American upbringing has established, feel that need to spend the majority of each day, each week, each year, working.
I know that none of this is an original thought. Most Americans are like this. We have an ambitious work ethic that is something to be proud of. However, I have been thinking more and more about the difference between making time and taking time. The two are often used interchangeably, yet there is a subtle difference in connotation. If my friend asks me to have tea with her some evening, and I respond with I will make the time, there is a sense that I am carefully crafting an hour that I can spend with her. This is not time that was previously available, but she is an incredibly important person in my life and I will make that time to be with her. When I have a particular difficult assignment in my course, I will take the time to read extra source materials to ensure understanding. This is stealing the time I would have spent reading for fun or on some other activity, and therefore has a much more negative connotation. This is something that is important, but I am less willing to make that sacrifice.
And of course there is always the third phrase, spending time, because as we all know, time is money.
What are your thoughts on time? Do you find yourself saying making or taking time more often?