Spending time is an interesting expression. We use it so much that we don't necessarily think about what it really means. Rish once told a story on the show about how his rich uncle would pay him $5...or maybe it was $10...to wash his car for him. And Rish wondered why he wouldn't save that money and wash the car himself. His uncle's reply was, "Someday, when you get old enough, you'll find that your time can be more valuable than your money." Now, if you're not someone's rich uncle, this could be complete crap. When you're poor, and you don't have money for anything, people say things like this and it's just a slap in your face. But in America, in all the first-world countries out there really, it's most often true. We have wealthy lifestyles, and opportunities to make money that people in poorer, third-world countries do not have. But no matter where you live, you never have opportunities to extend your life, or earn back hours from your life that you have wasted.
Last week, my computer's hard drive crashed. These days, you can often get a lot of your data back when you have a crash like that. In my case, however, that was not happening. The guys at the computer repair shop couldn't retrieve one byte. So all the stuff that I had stored on my drive was gone. I've been trying to mentally catalog what it is that I've lost. For years, I've been pretty anal about backing up my data. I have a large number of DVDs and CDs with collections of my photos, MP3s, short stories and journals, and so forth. So the vast majority of my irreplaceable files remain safe and secure.
In my mental cataloging, though, I keep recalling things that I've spent a lot of time on in the past few years that are now gone. For example, last year I actually went through my entire music collection and labeled each song with the year that it was released. That took me hours of searching on Wikipedia and the like. And now it's all gone. When I think about re-doing that, the F-word comes to mind quickly and often. There's no way I'm wasting, yes wasting, my time on that again. And that's not the only thing I've wasted my time on over the last few years. Like wasting money, wasting time is a really stupid thing to do. At least with money, you can earn it back. With time, you'll never see it again. No matter what you do, it ain't coming back.
I have one life to live, and I don't want to find myself on my deathbed with nothing to show for my life but the most well organized MP3 collection around. So, hopefully I can keep this lesson in mind the next time I'm tempted to spend the evening wasting my time away surfing the net.
On Friday, after writing on a story a fair amount during down times in my day, my wife fell asleep early. She needed to work early in the morning anyway, so I couldn't complain...much. Here I was on a Friday night with nothing to do. Normally when this happens, I waste the night away surfing the net. But with my recent goals in mind, instead I sat down, and started plugging away on my story. By the time I was ready to hit the sack myself, I managed to put in another 860 words.
I am now at 3621 words. I originally thought the story would top off at 4000 words. It looks more like 5000 now, but it's getting close. And when I finish. I'm going to write me another. Because I would be proud to find myself on my deathbed with a lot of good stories to show for my life.