Writing 101, Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure
Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.
T is for Twenty-four Things to Treasure
Just to look at me, you’d never know something about me…something I’d rather not tell…but here goes. I am a robber. I’ve never served time behind bars for my crime. Well sort of. Sometime they’ve been self imposed. Walls of my own making. Walls that separated me from the rest of you who are smart and do not rob others or yourselves. You see, I stole from myself.
Anyway, on to the meat of my topic. Hope you are still with me. Hope the title of this didn’t frighten anyone away. I won’t bore you with a bulleted list of all the things that are precious to me. I’m going to talk about twenty-four things all rolled into one–you probably guessed–time… the twenty four hours in a day. The thing I stole from myself. “How awful,” you say. “We want to help you. Maybe you could go to AA for time abusers, or enroll in a time management program.” “Lay off, I don’t need an intervention, thank you…I just need to get a hold on this. I can quit anytime!
Twenty-four hours seem like a lot…but it flies by so quickly. Another day done, and what has been accomplished? What happens to time when it is gone? We get a fresh supply the following day. Unearned, just there for us. Referred to as a clean slate. (on which we can continue weaving our story.) Another chance to achieve the thing that we didn’t do yesterday. Ah, and at the end of the day and there is nothing done, why there’s always tomorrow, right? Someone once said that tomorrow is never here, that it’s always today. I can’t get my head around that one, but it sounds like an interesting quote to throw in here. So if wasted, totally wasted, you automatically get your same allotment. If I could be permitted to be funny here, in this serious moment, I think if I were God, I might say,”you really screwed up big time and wasted another day. When will you ever learn? Should I trust you with more…?”
So we all are given the same twenty-four hours. Foolish or wise, rich or poor, we all get the same. Quite fair, I think. Can’t complain about it all. Though I wish it could be recycled. I’m really into recycling. I sometime borrow sugar from Tess across the street. Could I stretch this and borrow time? Then I would be living on “borrowed time.” Tess told me, “Sorry, I don’t have any left today, I have no idea where my time went.” Haven’t we all said that?
Another quote (source unknown): “It’s the one commodity that cannot be saved.” Picture Mr. Ruddle going to a time bank “I’d like to invest 2,700 hours, please. Can you hold it over a period of say twenty years, please. 10% growth, you say. calculating….oohhh! That gives me so much time when I get to the end. Do you guarantee that it will be there for me then? Oh, and if I die, can I pass it on to my son?” I think I remember the expression “buying time.” Just what doe’s that mean anyway?
Think about the treasure of time, and that it attracts many robbers. Mr. Ruddle knows this, guards his carefully–even to the point of hoarding it. He is continually watchful. He has grown so fearful that it will be taken from him, that he has hidden from the world and just keeps time for himself. He does not know that the time he put into a box will not help him at all and when he opens the box and find time has vanished, will be his undoing.
So on to how to use time. Some should be spent sleeping which eats up a lot. Mmmm, think of all the stuff I could get done if I didn’t have to sleep. Some one asked this question to a group of writers; “If you were granted an extra hour in the day what would you do with it?”
Without hesitation Sue jumped in and said, “probably waste it like I do with all the other hours.” There were some other ideas…not too creative…spend the hour getting writing done (gets five stars for work effort at least;) two or three said sleep (we need more of that?) (well maybe some of us do. I tend to do some of my sleeping on the couch watching old reruns of Columbo;) Ben said he would read his Bible. (more stars for that one.)
I confess I did not have any input at that time. But a further confession…at that time I was playing a lot of Scrabble and was pretty addicted. I have been trying to limit myself to a smaller amount of time than before…(no I’m not saying how much as it might incriminate me.) Probably I was thinking..Ahhh, another hour for Scrabble. No I don’t want to think about that…
I really should’ve have a good idea, but then my brain got caught up with what a clock with 25 hours on it would look like. The old fashioned kind with the round face and the numerals 1 through 12 circling around. Where would that extra hour be put? That created this large conundrum and I was so fixated, I just let the chance for self reflection pass me by.
So I think long and hard about this theoretical question (sometime theoretical questions bother me immensely, because I think, why waste all one’s time and effort trying to answer a query about something that will never happen.) I should come up with an answer soon.
I do put a value on time. Once upon a time when I was part of the work force, time was money. Of great importance was how to get through tasks as efficiently as possible so that the ratio of hours to pay came out more positive. So to value time in that way is worthwhile.
But now I’m retired…I can’t put a value like that on my time. So the use of time has to have a greater meaning.
In the Bible we are instructed to put up treasures in Heaven…or cautioned, where your treasure is there will your heart be also. Ah, there it is. I need to spend more time with the one who gave me this rich and abundant gift. And thank him for it everyday.
I try not to think of the things in my life as treasures. As with everyone else there are items that I consider valuable (mostly sentimental) and then all the things that keep our lives running along pleasantly. But I don’t necessarily treasure them. I like being surrounded by my things because almost all have some memory attached. The vase given to me by my friend: the chair that used to be in my husband’s childhood home, that I recovered (twice) and now needs to be done over again, but won’t get a third; and the desk I bought in a little antique store many years ago.
People in my life are what I treasure…the time spent with them is a treasure I wish to keep.