There’s a myth that time is money. In fact, time is more precious than money. It’s a nonrenewable resource. Once you’ve spent it, and if you’ve spent it badly, it’s gone forever.
-Neil A. Fiore
Having kids does a lot of things to you, but more than anything it puts this idea in stark relief. I have two that are younger than five, and I’ve thought about this idea of time-as-money a lot in the last few years.
It’s easy, especially when you’re young, to get lazy and feel like, Yeah, fuck it, I’ll have time for that later. For the most part, you look and feel the same as you have for years, and so it’s hard to really appreciate that time is passing.
When you have kids, you see time literally unfold in front of you. In the span of weeks or months, the people they are can completely evaporate, replaced by someone not entirely new, but definitely different. One day they’re crawling, a few weeks later they’re running around. They’re babbling one minute, and before you know it they speak sentences.
One day, you put your kids down and you never pick them up again.
It’s a young person’s game to worry about how much money you make. And for good reason. You’ve got student loans to pay. You’ve got rent. You’re under the (mistaken) impression that wealth is accrued by increasing the size of your paycheck.
But money — if you’re smart — can always be turned into more money. You can and will rapidly switch jobs for other, higher-paying jobs. It happens ridiculously fast sometimes.
But — you will never, ever get back the moment that just passed.
And at some point, you start to wonder:
- Is it really that important to get into the office right on time every day?
- Do you really need to check your phone, just in case?
- Are you gaining anything by working harder or more often?
Why are you doing all this shit in the first place?
Seriously — why?
If you don’t know, don’t spend up your non-renewable time doing work just to do it. No one gives a fuck how hard you work or how many hours you put in. People care about results, sure, and some of them will reward you for good ones. And if you want that, go for it.
But know your limit. Don’t let someone else take time from you to get more for themselves.
Because that time? You’re never, never, never going to get it back.