"Don't waste time. You should never be bored; there is always something to do. Don't just waste your day away otherwise next thing you know you've wasted your life." My mom was the mother of 10 and had no time for bullshit. Or cursing. Sorry Mom. And if anyone in the world deserved to have time to waste, it was that saint of a woman. She homeschooled, cooked, cleaned, had vegetable gardens and flower gardens that quite honestly deserved a front page story in Better Homes and Gardens. She not only almost never had any free time, but she barely even had a moment to herself. That woman is a saint and I'm sure she doesn't know what to do with all the free time she now has in heaven. Pretty sure heaven has gardens and she's taken them over and finally gotten her cover story in all the best gardening magazines heaven has to offer. That woman worked harder than anyone I've ever met and she didn't even have a job that paid her for years. That woman did not waste a single moment in her life. Even when she found some time to relax, that time was never wasted. She was more intentional with her time than anyone else I've ever met.
I find myself often "wasting time." And whenever I do it, I still hear that voice in my head even years later, "Don't waste the day away." As I get older, I am really starting to learn what that truly means. I waste so much time. I waste words. I waste emotions. I waste money. I waste energy. I. Am. So. Wasteful. But, I'm learning as I get older, and hopefully more mature, how to be intentional with my time, words, emotions, money, and energy.
Our time on earth is limited, and I'm already done with almost thirty years of the time I've been given. I've been married and divorced, known loss and heartbreaks, learned valuable life lessons over and over, because sometimes I just don't learn the fist time around, but, I'm running out of time. We all are, with every day we're given, we're one more day gone by. I don't want to waste that time anymore. It doesn't mean I'm going to go out and start charities, or save the planet, or feed the hungry every single day. I'm going to be honest with myself and you, and admit I just don't have that motivation or drive. But every day I can spend my time intentionally. I can spend time doing the things that I love, like writing, painting, reading, talking, and hanging out with my friends or family, playing music, and watching TV. Because you know what I love to watch: TV. I'm trying to learn how to stop making TV and video games my priority time, but I do also love it. So if I love it and don't have anything better that I SHOULD be doing with my time, then damn right I'm gonna watch Netflix. Time spent intentionally is not wasted.
Anyone who knows me really well knows that all too often I speak without thinking. I react far too fast a lot of times and my mouth gets me in to trouble. And everyone knows the saying that it takes ten rights to make up for one wrong. Do you know how many freaking rights I need to make for all the wrongs I've done? A lot, ok? I get jealous sometimes, I'm insecure a lot, I overthink everything, and I just feel like I have to talk and talk about it all, and it gets me into trouble. I get upset over something at work and end up telling my bosses that what they want to do is dumb. I mean yeah it is dumb and they're wrong, but they're the boss and I need to be respectful. I go back and forth in my head even though I know that answer and know what I want in my heart but my head is a dumbass and can't make up it's mind so I end up ruining relationships because I can't just shut up. But sometimes, just sometimes, I give myself time to think about what I need to say and what's better left unsaid, and those words said intentionally are not wasted.
Emotions. Oh boy. I spent years just emotionally shut down. I didn't realize 'til years later that I was dealing with depression, and that I had been dealing with it for the last decade, and I just didn't realize it. And then like a damn tidal wave, 10 years of emotions that I had shut down, just hit. When I finally opened myself up to finally allowing myself to feel everything, and have an emotion about it, it was a whirlwind of feeling everything all at once all the time. For the last year, my emotions have been so out of whack because I just don't know how to deal with it all. I'm learning, but I just don't know how to find any balance just yet. I wasted all those years unfeeling, and now I wasted a year (so far) of feeling it all without understanding what to do with all the emotion. Emotions are great and valid and need to be dealt with, but some things are just not worth that. Some things don't need an emotional reaction. Sometimes I just need to take a step back and understand this is the wrong time to react this way. I am learning, slowly but surely, that intentional emotions are not wasted.
Money. Don't even get me started, literally just go to Dave Ramsey. Budget, learn how to be thrifty, don't buy stuff you don't need unless you can hear Marie Kondo saying if it sparks joy then keep it. And I've learned that makeup and clothes do sometimes spark joy. And if it makes you happy and you can afford it after paying your bills and won't go in to debt over it, then spend that hard earned cash my friend. Money spent intentionally is not wasted.
Energy is tricky. I have asthma, seasonal depression, I eat like shit, and when I used to work out all the time, even though physically I felt pretty good, emotionally and mentally I was not in a good place I just stopped working out. And then when I stopped that I seemed to lose a lot of energy. When it's been rainy too many days in a row, I lose energy. Living in Minnesota where half the year is winter and pretty unbearable to be outside, I lose energy, and for those two months of summer it's so humid and disgusting to be outside I lose energy. Energy is such a great thing to have, but so often I have so little of it. And when I do have it I often waste it. Sometimes, it's mentally and emotionally. Like being the hardworking friend in a one sided friendship, or putting all my energy into being angry and pissed off instead of finding a solution to the problems or just dealing with it. Anger is a valid and useful emotion WHEN USED IN THE RIGHT WAY! But so often we waste it. I wasted so many years being angry with a situation I could have fixed if I had just dealt with it right away when I knew it would be a problem. Instead I went along with everything because at the time it was easier. My life would be so much different if I hadn't wasted that energy. I still had to correct that situation but it was years later when I was older and had even less energy but more anger than before. But I am learning to be intentional with my energy. Like writing or painting or being creative when I have that little spark of energy and that spark of creativity. Or setting (and completing) the goal to bike 500 miles in a year. (It took me only six months.) Intentionally used energy is never wasted.
As humans we really waste a lot. Environmentally, mentally, physically, and more. But if we learn how to be intentional with it, how is it a waste? If I have a free day and want to spend it recharging my batteries with a day spent at home drinking tea and watching TV, then it isn't a waste. Sometimes we need just some time alone, to reflect, think, or just shut our brains off for a day. Each of us was made with intention, created with a purpose, and if we are worthy of life, then we need to live it the way we were created, with intention.