Member 2988
1 entry

Hallie Rose Taylor (F, 33)
Austin, TX, US
Immortal since Oct 10, 2011
Uplinks: 0, Generation 3
  • Affiliated
  •  /  
  • Invited
  •  /  
  • Descended
  • Recently commented on
    From johnallen
    The Future of Life...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    Time, as I see it, is a conceptual and abstract system completely engrained into our lives.  The idea of duration and period are inseparable from existence in our unenhanced minds. Calendars, seasonal tracking, and indications of when the sun will rise or is sure to set stem from ancient civilizations all the way through today (watches, sundials.) 
    Many of the same things may also be said for money: it is a conceptual, abstract system woven deeply into our daily life, to a vast majority it seems inseparable from existence, and different forms of currency have trickled on from somewhere around 2000 BC. 
    The ties and similarities between time and money are actually quite extensive and striking, and I’ve been giving them a lot of thought lately.

    For one, both systems are quite illusory.  Money as it exists now has nothing to do with actually valuable items, but rather close to worthless pieces of cloth or, more commonly today, invisible electronic figures.  It is largely created out of thin air.  Time is also "created out of thin air", every new second arbitrarily brings on the next, and, at any average moment in human life, there is nothing slowing or speeding the process.  .

    Time and money also have certain paradoxes, like you’ve got to spend money to make money (“buy this car to drive to work, drive to work to pay for this car" syndrome), or "slow and steady wins the race.". One of the fastest growing genres of forthcoming books are those that supposedly contain the secret to getting rich with minimal effort. Almost all other products for sale claim to sell you time by selling convenience. All either of things things do are drain your money and time even further.

    Even the same verbs are used for time and money: to make, to save, and to spend.

    This brings me to the concept of debt within both systems.  It’s widely felt that debt, in conjunction with the criminal idea of compound interest, is one of the most enslaving situations in which one may become entangled.  What is not as commonly discussed, however, is the astoundingly oppressive and destructive holds that a lack of time has on individuals.  It provides the same rock-in-the-gut feeling of student loans or house payments dangling over one's head when they look at the commitments they’ve made with their time. Viewing these commitments next to their most innate desires and dreams, all in the single narrow scope of what’s left of their time after the chains of the monetary system have decimated it, is devastating.

    When you're in money-debt, all of your future money is already bound to whomever you sold it. When you finally do run into some money that ordinarily you could spend on gaining experiences, setting up a place to raise children, or investing back into your business, it has been already promised away.  On the flipside of that same coin, when you’re in time-debt, all of your future time is bound as well.  Because of personal projects, family obligations, because you said “yes” too many times, or because you simply want to do too many things, it’s gone before it gets here.

    Not only is this unfortunate for any schedule, but this type of time “management” leaves behind it a wake of anxiety, a certain level of insanity, and often spurs even more procrastination.  Imagine this:  someone has a house and mind full of “need to fix”s and “gotta start that”s and “how did that get so out of hand”s, but they come home everyday exhausted from work.  Most of the time, unfortunately, the solution will be to escape.  And who could be blamed for such a reaction?   If they do nothing they’ll feel guilt for not doing what they’ve set themselves up to spend their time doing, and frankly they’re too tired to do it.  The TV, or rather hopefully a good book, lends a hand.  Now all that guilt is hiding behind numbing white noise until it’s time to go to sleep, and then to begin the cycle yet again with the morning.

    In my mind there is one critical first step to breaking this cycle, and that is to realize that just like there is no free money, there is no such thing as free time.  You have to work for it, you have to make it, and you have to spend it doing the things that you truly want to do today, at this moment. No one else can do it for you. 
    It’s a matter of prioritization.  When buying things, one should always ask, “Do I love it (not like it)?  Do I need it (not want it)?  Will I use it now (and frequently)? Does it work/is it in good repair (or is it another future project)? Would I rather buy this for $5.99 because it’s such a ‘great deal’ or would I rather put money towards… better food, debt, a vacation, my home, camping equipment, a proper writing desk, etc.?”  Likewise, I propose that before taking on any projects, one might always ask, “will it make my life better and/or simpler?  Are the efforts worth the results?  Is this putting me toward what I truly want to be doing?  Would I rather spend 2 hours stitching a goose onto a pillow or would I maybe like to go for a walk, finish that short story, take a bath, stare at a wall, or write a letter to my mother?”

    Everyone’s priorities will vary, it's simply a matter of close listening.  It is important to become a master of weighing the amount of time something takes versus the end benefit.  This isn’t easy, and I still struggle with it daily.  But maybe a scrapbooking project would be best simplified to a photo album so you can call some of the people from the photos instead, or maybe 30 minutes spent clipping coupons would be better put toward tending to the garden or starting that novel.  Try making a list of the five most important things in your life, and with each activity ask yourself whether any of those are being truly nourished. 

    So what drives the horses of time-debt?  One large contributing factor, conflictingly, is the fear of running out of time.  Well, let me tell you, you are.  Slowly.  Every moment that ticks away while looking for things in a disorganized house, or plopped in front of the TV, is one less moment to follow your heart.  There is a later, but by that time you’ll be that much closer to the end.  An important thing to remember is you’re not going to get to do it all- you’re not going to get to read all the books, see the entire world, be a master of tai-kwon-do while in cosmetology school, learning portuguese on the side with two kids.  The point is not to do it all, nor is it to see it all.  The point is to be here, do your best, enjoy this meal, engage in this conversation, smell the pine, feel the wind.

    Yesterday I rode my bike out for a short errand and I was relishing in the phenomenal weather. I thought to myself, "wow this weather is amazing, I should really be out riding in it". My mind had already jumped ahead thirty minutes, when I would be back home eating dinner and then reading in bed. It took me a moment to check myself and say, "wait-I am out riding in it!" I suggest catching yourself in these moments self-deceit when you can, and coming back into reality, or at least the best possible reality you're capable of creating for yourself.

    On a societal level time debt is much more devastating. Rather than pouring money and resources into time consuming technological innovation, often in developed countries we succumb to pressure by shortcutting toward a haphazard solution, without looking at long term effects, and without consideration for the rest of the planet. Most of what I wanted to discuss here was time debt on individual levels, but I plan on touching larger scales in the future.

    Sun, Nov 6, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: Time, money, debt
      RSS for this post
      Add to favorites
    Create synapse