Sunday, December 5, 2010

Space Vs Time

You only get one life. It should be lived as you see fit.

I know it sounds obvious and like something people do every day... but is it really? It seems to me that many people live the life they THINK they want to live... or worse, the life they think the are SUPPOSED to want to live.

I think that it is important for every person to stop, take a moment, and examine who they are and how they are living. REALLY examine them.

For example, if you have to have a bigger house or apartment to keep your stuff in, you should examine why you have that much stuff in the first place. If you answer is because you like it and you want it just to have it, then carefully consider if having those things is worth the hours you put in at your job and the money that you pay in order to give those things a home.

I did this, and I found that it was not at all worth it to me. Those hours are hours I could be painting, meditating, or spending with my loved ones. Possessions could never mean more to me than doing those things, and many more that I like to do.

In many equations, it comes down to space vs time. We all have a limited amount of time. Space is virtually limitless, for the right price. The more time you put in, the more space you can buy. But the more space you buy, the less time you will have to enjoy that space - or anything else.

But do you want the space itself? Do you really want the things that are in it? The initial reflex is to say yes! of course you do. We all do. But...

Think about the things you own... can you name every item? Do you suspect there are things in boxes you haven't seen in years? Do you keep stuff not because you want it but because you feel too guilty to part with it, either because of how much you paid for it or because it was a gift? Or maybe you can't part with that piece of exercise equipment because so long as it's there you MIGHT use it, and you might get your money out of it. Make a list of things you own that you LOVE and could not live without. You favorite shoes, your coffee maker, your computer, your TV, your music... list things that would make your day to day life hollow if they weren't there.

How long is your list? Half the stuff you own? 1/3? 1/4? For me... it's barely 1/8 of what I own. So, I realize that I am paying for 8 times the space I need for stuff that I can totally live without. That's 7 hours a day I might not need to be working (in a perfect world where math = reality, that is). That's 7 hours I can paint, promote my work, devote to my boyfriend, visit my family, volunteer, meditate, sing, dance, relax, read, travel, and play with my pets. And, if I'm working less I'm sleeping less. That adds at least an hour a day.

This is all well and good, but you must first determine what is really important to you. I'm lucky... it's very easy for me. I have had my eyes firmly focused on a path of creating art since I was a very small child, so I don't even have to ask myself what I want... it's always on the tip of my tongue. For most other people it isn't that simple... but I can guarantee you that to one degree or another, every single person out there wants more TIME.

And if you want more time, you have to give up space... or win the lottery.

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