The Gift of Time
Over the course of our marriage, my husband and I have experienced four seasons when we needed to rapidly and significantly reduce our spending. The reasons for this belt-tightening ranged from 24% mortgage rates in the 80s, to a decision to stay at home to look after children, to a house build that went way over the expected budget, and to my more recent adventure of giving up a regular income to start Weaving Futures.
At the time, losing our disposable income was tough, but I look back at each situation with gratitude, because every belt-tightening season enabled us to reassess how we spent our money and in many instances led to a re-prioritisation of what was important in our lives. It also made us value even more the money that we did have.
Parkinson’s Law states:
"That no matter how much money people earn they tend to spend the entire amount and a little bit more besides."
On reflection I can see that my life has aligned mostly to Parkinson’s Law. How and what I spend money on does directly relate to my present financial situation, and during those belt-tightening seasons I had to adapt my spending habits to address the ‘little bit more besides’.
Lately I have been thinking about how Parkinson's Law might apply to things other than wealth. Might we apply it to time?
“That no matter how much time people have they tend to spend the entire amount and a little bit more besides.”
Yep, that about sums up how I use time.
I am guilty of trying to squeeze in that one extra job, saying yes to things I ought to say no to, being away from home more days than I should, trying to meet the expectations of others, and not taking the time out I need to refresh and recharge.
And suddenly, here we are in a national lockdown, facing at least four weeks of being at home. Ordered by the government to work from home, a national emergency declared, schools closed, activities curtailed, the Olympics postponed. Who’d have believed so much could change in such a short time?
But the good news is that If this lockdown season is anything like my belt-tightening seasons it will result in us all redefining what it is we value the most. Whilst on one hand this season is taking away a lot of the freedom we take for granted, it is also giving us a precious chance to do all those things that in the past we have never fitted in.
What is on your lockdown to-do list? What are you going to spend your days doing? How might you invest this time in others? How might the lockdown re-prioritise what matters in your life?
This is an incredible opportunity that we hope will never come again in our lifetime. Don’t waste it.
Til next time,
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