The Gift of Time

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Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes. Contestants in a suicidal race.

I live in a place that is big enough to have traffic issues. Certainly not on the level of places on the East or West Coast and it tends to be just in certain stretches on the highway. But, you hit those stretches in rush hour and it is going to be slow going.

I see this all the time while driving to my dance lessons. The good news is that I’m going in the less popular direction so my side generally moves. There are those days when we do get jams but that’s the exception and not the rule. The other side is always bumper to bumper and I wonder how much time people spend in their cars trying to get home.

As I think about my future, it starts to become clear that what I’ve really been given is the gift of time. Work is more than 40 hours a week because when you get up you are basically just spending time getting ready to go to work. Add in the travel time to and from and then toss in the times when work extends beyond the normal work day and it all starts to add up.

Now, other than assorted errands and appointments, my days are essentially free to do what I want to do. And the more I think about that, the less I want to give up this new found freedom. I certainly don’t want to start doing all the things they talked about that are necessary to find a job. Things like spending days networking and meeting with people and trying to get other connections. For what?

There are probably jobs that would provide some sense of meaning. I don’t doubt that. But is that worth giving up my time? I mean that may sound a bit selfish but it is kind of where I am now.

And maybe there is nothing really wrong with that. I mean I spent 30+ years working and trading my time for a paycheck. We were good and dutiful savers and haven’t spent extravagantly to prepare for life after work. So why not start now?

There are things that excite me. I spent most of my work career using my analytical skills and now I’ve got a chance to really get into the creative things like this blog and dancing. I’ve always been interested in personality type things and I’m finding a lot of opportunities to really explore that and use that for more growth. That’s what I’ve been given the chance to do.

This might make for an interesting conversation with my career coach on Monday. I’m still sorting through all of this but it seems like a path is forming out of the fog.

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