Not so long ago, an idea referred to as the Magic Bank Account circulated the internet in meme/video/jpeg form. Often attributed to legendary Bear Bryant, former head coach of the University of Alabama football team, the short story equates time to money: Each morning, you wake up with $86,400 in your bank account. There is no day-to-day carry over, so you must use every cent by the end of each day. What would you do with your money? Withdraw and spend as much as possible? Make the most of your time here and seize the day, as the sayings go? Probably; perhaps.
The cynical critic in me believes that we would do exactly as we do now – because this story is our reality. It is human nature to become desensitized and complacent to the value of our short time on earth, enjoy youth and excitement for a short while before growing accustomed to our enormous wealth. We frequently say, “Ahhh, what the heck, it can wait until tomorrow!” as we kick back on the couch, “after all, I get free refills on a daily basis!” #procrastinationstation
Nevertheless, the story provides a reset in perspective that pushes us not to take one of our greatest gifts for granted. Time is a precious commodity, one of the few things in life that everyone gets (besides, you know, vital organs and other body parts), and can use however they want. We all want more, we never seem to have enough; we’re rushing around, yelling at the car in front of us for only going the speed limit in the left lane. We have so many things to do and so little time to do them in; not to mention, if we have to wait five extra minutes in line without a smart phone for entertainment, all hell breaks loose within our busy, buzzing minds. Dare we waste an hour? A minute? A second? God forbid!
Then there is the flip side of the coin: the mindfulness movement. Part of us remains aware of the simultaneous care and disregard with which we treat time. Time presents itself, inescapably, as a life-defining dimension of our reality, such that we are forced to recognize the inimitable value of a ticking clock. So, we place time on the highest pedestal – which we then buoy on a bed of sand by filling our days with mindless activity. The conundrum is evident. If time is so priceless, why do we try to escape via distractions? What are we saving up for? How come, when we take five minutes to meditate, our sudden, overwhelming awareness of existence and all the issues surrounding it is just too much to handle without some busywork or article or TV show to keep us zoned and multitasking?
*Language Warning: Both of the videos below are explicit, and hilarious.*
2-Minute Meditation For Bitches Who Don't Meditate
Posted by SOML on Saturday, January 14, 2017
In many ways, we are too aware – of the infinite possibilities that we will never be able to experience, the innumerable places to go, people to meet, and experiences to have. (“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”) Our lack of ignorance does us in. A myriad of choices is paralyzing. If we were not aware of the possibility of eternity, perhaps we would not begrudge the ever-increasing number on our birthday cake candles.
So, we (individuals, families, groups, corporations) do everything we can to maximize our time. Advice columns provide run-downs and suggest the best ways to make it count: create to-do lists; prioritize activities; monitor usage; put everything on the calendar; plan ahead; work from home; do away with those who do not contribute; analyze metrics; reevaluate and reconstruct goals. Efficiency is the name of the game!
Of course, with every need comes an equal and complimentary solution to meet it. After several preliminary and unsuccessful Google Scholar searches along the lines of “percentage of products currently on the market designed to save time” (I know, I know… my research skills are rusty), I don’t have any hard statistics. However, relying purely on anecdotal evidence, I would argue that a whopping majority of products on the market are designed with saving time in mind. When you don’t have five seconds to pick up the nearest smart device and type a question into Google, Alexa provides instantaneous information (and perhaps unsurprisingly, court evidence). Doodle allows us to schedule events without enduring sub-optimally long email chains and Facebook group messages. Thanks to Bluetooth capabilities, we can drive and shop without putting off a phone call (while also being responsible for the most one-sided conversations initiated by innocent bystanders who thought they met a friendly stranger). Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done is an entire book dedicated to making sure your time does not get dumped down the drain, and it is not the only one of its kind. Fast food, data consolidation, standing meetings, HIIT workouts, drive-thru windows, anything with the word ‘express’ in it… what do they all have in common? I’ll let you answer that…
When a nearby shopper is conducting an angry conversation via bluetooth.
So, we’ve established that time is precious. We simultaneously treasure it and take it for granted, just like we are concurrently lazy yet fulfilled by hard work. Knowing that we act with the intention of maximizing time, on what do we choose to spend it? When we lay our lives out for examination and then take a step back to look at the bigger picture, what makes the cut?
The obvious, highly predictable answers include: family, friends, and hobbies. If you spent the rest of your life with people that matter to you, engaging in activities that bring you joy and make you feel purposeful, connected and glowing, it would be hard to argue that this would be a poor use of your time. If you enjoy what you do for a living, your job makes the cut. For many, being in the presence of small, adorable, furry creatures is well worth anywhere from two minutes to lifetime. If you are Kristen Bell, a week spent with sloths would be 100% well-spent (See: Kristen Bell’s Sloth Meltdown).
It can be safely concluded that if you are able to spend as much time as possible doing what you love, making yourself happy (and also others, because happiness is contagious), then that would be a best-possible scenario. On a list of all non-controversial statements ever made, this could easily top the list.
Unless you are a passionate student of the culinary arts or you find joy and solace in cooking (and even if one or both of those apply to you, yet you are a remarkably busy individual), you have probably also lamented the need to spend time on food, in one way or another. Thinking about what you want to eat, what you should eat, how much you should eat, deciding what to make for dinner, if you’re even capable of making that for dinner, if you have the right ingredients, how long you have to get to the store and cook before another obligation…. etc, etc. These thoughts and actions consume time, for better or worse.
Looking up meals, planning them out, grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, and portioning take big chunks out of your carefully planned-out day. Healthy cooking is not a quick endeavor. If you spend one hour grocery shopping, plus one hour per day of the week for prepping plus cooking, that’s easily an entire 8-hour work day stripped from your week. A minute or two ago, you just thought of the ways in which you could spend your time, if you had the ability to choose, in an ideal world. I’m going to make a wild assumption that you can’t take off a day of work every week to have one extra day to do the things you love. Go on a hike? Take a ski trip? Be a tourist in your own city? Start a new hobby? Get back into an old one? These are all possibilities, should you allocate your time wisely.
It is our hope that you use your time to the best of your ability, in the most productive way possible, however brings you happiness. We enjoy cooking, and we take pride in it. We aim to bring the best quality, tastiest food to your literal plate, so that you can take some time off of your metaphorical plate.
When it comes to spending your time, let your imagination flow… we’re in the business of creating possibilities. It’s up to you to take them on. 🙂