Monthly Archives: December 2019

The Value of Time

December 8, 2019

Culture and Society

I have been thinking a lot lately about time. Perhaps it’s because I am feeling a little nostalgic. In less than a week from this posting, I will be graduating from college. My life has gone through so much change over the last three and a half years. I started this journey facing a mountain of work and what felt like an eternity until I finished. So much has happened since I stepped onto campus for the first time as an undergrad.

So much time has passed, and yet, here I am, as if it all flew by in an instant.

If there is one daily practice that I have embraced in recent years, it is the concept of mindfulness. I have used it as a meditative tool to help me do my work and get through the day. It requires being present and living in the moment. Each task you do is given all of your undivided attention whether you are merely picking up a bag of groceries or writing a final term paper.

What happens with this practice is that time, and your use of it, feels like it expands. With the absence of the frenetic rush of your mind running a mile-a-minute through several concurring thoughts and your body multi-tasking, you lose all sense of time–and for that matter, you lose a sense of purpose.

I have deliberately decided that I do not want to live my life constantly putting out fires and rushing everywhere. I see people who do that all of the time, and it is not sustainable. I have learned to equate time with a sense of purpose. What I do with my time and what I prioritize during my day are extremely important.

I always work toward prioritizing the important stuff while also making time for solitude, rest, and relaxation. I live mindfully, and time ebbs and flows calmly forward. I prepare for times when I know life will be hectic and crazy, but by my own design, those moments are few and far between.

When I consider the most important parts of my life, my mind conjures images of loved ones, family, and dear friends. I also beam proudly about the risks I took that lead to deeply fulfilling experiences.

These days I also envision time as a precious and finite possession. When you lose an object, you can always buy a new one or do without. When you forget something, you can simply recall it later, but with time, once it passes, it is gone.

All time that has passed in our lives is irretrievable, pretty much forever.

This means that I have important choices to make. Do I spend hours scrolling through Instagram, or do I sit with my impossibly affectionate cat for a while? Do I go out and finish the twenty items on my to-do list, or do I have a quiet day at home? There are no right or wrong answers.

What matters more is whether the activities you carry out align with what you value.

Time exists in the moment. Time in the present is truly all that we have, despite our ambitious plans for the future and our past regrets.

I value my time more and more every day. Every moment that passes is mine for the taking.

I want to use my time to live a beautiful and meaningful life.


Learning to Trust Myself

December 1, 2019

Culture and Society

Building on my previous post, I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to trust myself. Perhaps it simply means to be confident in my convictions and to stop second guessing my intuition.

The question now is, “How do I learn to trust myself?”

Maybe this means that I need to give myself a gentle reminder whenever I have a gut feeling about something or have a difficult decision to make. Whatever the course of action I take, it needs to be informed by an intention to go with my intuition despite the naysayers both inside and outside of my head. These are opportunities for me to willingly trust what my gut is telling me and to act on those motivations. I will try to do this as often as I can. Practice makes perfect.

Trusting my intuition will help me to determine whether someone is being disingenuous or hurtful. It can help me figure out a true desire underneath a need to please others or be expedient. Trusting myself means that I will be guided by my own principles and standards that may be different from those of others.

I also need to make time for reflection and contemplation—to give myself moments of solitude in which I can be alone with my thoughts whenever difficult circumstances arise that need my attention and decisiveness.

What then is the opposite of trusting myself?

This would look like a person constantly consumed by guilt and anxiety over every decision made. It would also mean giving over important decisions to other people regardless of how I feel or how it effects me. This is no good because it creates a passive existence in which my life moves at the whim of other people’s desires. That sounds miserable.

Trusting myself means that I get to steer the ship in my own life and get to make my own adult decisions without trying to constantly please others. This is how it needs to be.