Sunday, January 3, 2016

Time, Money, and Energy

Life--the part that matters--requires a balance of 3 things: time, money, and energy.

 As children have time and energy, though little idea what to do with it. Hopefully we learn to play with others, to sit quietly in woods alone with our thoughts and nature, and the skills required to do something we can be employed for doing.

For the next 45 years we grind what ever grist the mill requires, learning, having some fun along the way, and saving something for the future. We have money and energy, but little time to live.

Eventually we retire. Time expands and many don't know how to fill it with anything that matters. They become hollowed out. Between sailing, climbing, and writing, I don't have the time for that. Seniors (hopefully) have money and time, but are often so worn down by life--perhaps physically, but just as likely emotionally--that they lack the energy to really live. They mark time and try to smile.

I find myself in a hybrid place, with time enough to do anything I feel is important, energy but not that I once had, and plentiful stuff but no income to speak of. A good solid job could bring financial security, but if that compromised this new life--in which the mystery of the future plays no small part--is it worth the price? Just a few years ago I couldn't have asked this question. I would have rushed right past, no time for introspection, too many bills and not enough nest egg. I still don't have enough nest egg to meet professional expectations, but what if I lower those expectations? What are time and energy and life worth? I don't know yet, but I have to find out.

For now I feel like that 12-year old boy I remember being, sitting in the woods,alone with my thoughts, building a tiny Indian village out of sticks and leaves. Or maybe in the workshop building an electric car from bits of scrap. Or sitting on a curb with some friends, deciding what we think is important in the world. That was living, and I didn't really miss the money. A single dollar stretched forever, in part because Mom and Dad supplied whatever I really needed, and in part because fun wasn't made of things.

1 comment:

  1. Know exactly what you mean. I'm in a similar situation: work and earn more money, or stay retired but "do more with less." So far, I've opted for the extra time and flexibility retirement affords.