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Done Giving Away Free Time

by Arlee Maxwell 2 years ago in advice

“Free time is a terrible thing to waste.” — E.A. Bucchianeri

Done Giving Away Free Time
“Life lesson are better reflected on a beach somewhere “-Arlee

As many of y’all can relate, I always felt like I needed to respond to every message or every social media post. Like as if I would be missing out on something if I didn’t do so. When in fact, the exact opposite is true… But it’s not just about “playing” hard to get. You should change your mindset to actually “being” hard to get. When you understand your priorities and you’re working to achieve your own goals, your time will truly be limited. Being hard to get doesn’t mean you should become coincided or start pushing people away that actually genuinely care about you. Being hard to get to me means that you’re done giving free time to others who don’t show how valuable and meaningful it is that you’re giving them that type of attention. It’s not selfish or wrong to pull away from those people because it will never be worth giving them free time.

For me, it all goes back to my priorities... I have ambitions for growing in so many areas and lately I realized putting in effort in the wrong people can slow me down. Not only that but I have a family that I love and want to be there for. My son is 6 and I know my time with him as a child is limited. He’s growing up so fast and I’m not willing to miss out on it anymore. I only want to make time for people and things that align with my highest priorities after I’ve been shown how much time I lost into someone who didn’t value it one bit.. Now the thought process that goes through my head is “Could there be something more valuable I can be doing with this time?” If the answer is yes, you must decline… This doesn’t mean you can’t have friends or enjoy time with others. I’m not saying choose work and business over the people you care about the most either. But when you reflect on that thought, that could mean many things. Is there someone who has wanted to see you that you care about but you’ve been too busy to take the time for? Is your kid home and you haven’t spent much time with him/her, and so on.

Once someone abuses the time given, pay attention to that. If they’re working or putting priorities first, that’s a different story. Cheer them on and be supportive because that’s exactly what you’re asking of them. But when you’re the only one trying in the relationship or friendship, your time is very much being wasted and you should move on. Maybe doing so the person will learn to value the friendship or relationship they once had. Maybe they will continue to not care, but either way don’t waste another second trying to grow with people who don’t want to grow with you.

Learn from my mistakes.

I wasted almost four years putting in my time into a relationship that was completely one sided. I was the only one trying to reconnect, I was the only one doing the cheering on and giving support, and I was the only one who loved and meant it. Things became so bad that the only time I was given from him, was late nights watching him sleep or maybe going to dinner once every six months (if that). I constantly voiced my feelings about wanting things to change but again I was the only one trying to grow with this person. I can’t even name the countless days and nights where I would be in tears because I felt like something was wrong with me, because they never would value my time I was putting into them. I was always on the back burner. It wasn’t even exclusive. He was able to freely talk or be sexually involved with other women while with me. I used to think this was someone who cared about me and didn’t want to lose me. I was definitely 100% blind to the fact that I was nothing to this person. I realize now giving my time to him only set me back and kept me from so many relationships with people I neglected because I gave him all my free time. It might have taken four years to learn this lesson but I finally did. I can’t tell you what woke me up or made me really learn this, but I am glad I did. Does this mean I don’t care for this relationship? Absolutely not. It means I’m done giving my free time in it and I’m done begging for it to be a two way street.

With friendships I as well learned this lesson. I spent so much time in just one of my friends neglecting all my others friends because I was so focused building her up and helping her grow. I would drop just about anything to be there for her or help her when no other friend would. Once she became blessed, she forgot about me. She got her driver's license that I helped her go get, she got a job that I pushed her to go get, and then she got a car. So I was no longer needed in any area of her life at this point. At first I thought, “oh she’s busy because she’s working a new job.” I constantly was trying to make plans but I understood and cheered her on. I supported her being busy. Until one day she posted pictures of her being out and about with a friend that wasn’t even existent when she needed someone the most. It was the biggest slap in the face and she could have cared less on how it made me feel. She wasn’t remorseful and even blocked me on every social media site because I said, “I’ve only been trying to hang out with you for like a month now, I see how it is.” And when she responded with her normal responses that I had been getting for over a month (excuses), reality hit me that I was just used for the time being so she could reach her blessed season. Am I saying she couldn’t have reached all she did on her own? Absolutely not, she definitely could have. I am saying I helped her get to where she is faster, though. I am saying that when I was around, I didn’t see one friend around until she reached all she did. I'm saying I wasted my time in this friendship that I thought was genuine and a two way street. I’m glad it only lasted for as long as it did and not four years wasted. Does this mean I wish bad on her or have anything bad to say? No, absolutely not. I’m sure she can be a great friend to other people. If the truth I wrote ever offended her, then I can’t help that. As I said before, maybe these people will reflect on what friendship they lost and learn from it becoming a better friend if they ever read this.

These are both prime examples that whether you waste four years, one year, or six months. A day's time wasted with the wrong people is a set back. Put a lot of thought in who you have around in your circle and who you make time for. I have friends of 15 years, pretty much half my life time, and I don’t have to see them every day, talk to them every day, and I don’t get mad if they’re out with others. But when I ask them to make time for me, they make it a priority and that has always showed me the friendship was genuine and went both ways. This is why these friendships have been long lasting. I’m still learning the whole relationship thing and don’t need to rush into another one but instead I’m enjoying working on myself and applying all the lessons I’m learning from the past and applying it to my future. I can only hope my mistakes and lessons can help or relate to someone else keeping them from giving free time away to the wrong people.

Arlee Maxwell
Arlee Maxwell
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Arlee Maxwell

Child of God

Instgram: @arleemaxwell

See all posts by Arlee Maxwell