“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.”
― Lao Tzu
How many times have you said “there aren’t enough hours in the day”, or “if only I had more time”, or even “the day has flown by”?
Time. No matter how hard we try, we can’t stop it. We can’t even slow it down. What we can do is spend it more wisely.
We fill our days with work, and family, household chores, mundane routine . Those responsibilities eat away at your day, and often gnaw away at your evening too. By the time you’ve done everything you need to do, and can finally stop, it’s time to go to bed. Sleep is the only free time you get. I work full time, and I’m also a mother. I have two attention hungry dogs. However, I am a firm believer of the following quote-
I don’t have loads of money. I can’t drive, so can’t always physically be there for someone. What I do have is “time” for those that mean something to me. It takes a few seconds to send a text to tell someone you’re thinking of them. If busy when a friend is in need, I will make the time to get back to them. It may not be hours of my time, but with what little time we all have to give, it would most definitely be ALL I was able to give. And that, to me, is priceless. If I only had 5 seconds free out of 24 hours, those 5 seconds would be spent on anyone that needed me. Sounds hardly worth it, but the point I’m making is that everyone says they have no time, but what we don’t realise is that the little time we do have can absolutely make someones day. Since losing my sister unexpectedly at the young age of just 39, I have realised with a jolt that life’s too short, and we don’t know how much time we have left. Though grieving, I knew I never wanted to waste another second wishing I’d spent more time with the ones I hold dear to me. As we went into 2016 two things occurred to me. Next year I’ll be 40, the milestone age my sister never reached. Also, my son becomes a teenager this year. No longer a child, but instead a young man growing more independent as time goes by. My time with him is too short at the best of times. I’m not going to waste the time we have got left wishing I’d made more time. Making time is easy. It’s getting your priorities right that’s difficult for some people.
Why is time important to a relationship?
What makes us worthy of someone else’s time?
Hard questions, but I think the answers lie in what the other person thinks of us rather than what we ourselves actually have to give.
I’ve been in a relationship where I started to feel I was no longer worthy of the other person’s time. Yes, I worked full time too, but was always prepared to make time for us. No matter if you are married, live together, live apart from each other, or you are in a long distance relationship; it is important to make some time for just the two of you. Again with the introduction of social media into our daily lives, physical time becomes a battle against cyber time. Facebook, especially, can feed you with stories, updates, photos etc for hours at a time. Hours wasted. Hours that could be spent having a drink in the pub with the ones you hardly see because you work so hard. Messenger means we become contactable 24/7 and for some people it almost becomes too difficult to log out. Some people even start to believe that they need to keep checking their messages in case they miss something important, even though the world would still continue to turn and the sender of a message would still be there a couple of hours after time spent with those that should mean the most to you. Couples should set aside some social media-free time, during dinner or for a family night, or date nights, so no one feels neglected in favour of the news feed. I feel that if the relationship is important to you, then you could easily put your phone down for a couple of hours. If you struggle to press the off button on your phone, then it’s obvious you don’t feel your time is best invested in the relationship so instead it’s time to turn off from that instead. You shouldn’t have to battle for someones time and attention. If they care for you, they will give it to you unconditionally. In turn, if your partner is constantly putting the social media lives of others, and work over your needs, even at a time when a break from it could be taken, you start to stop trying. Stop making the effort. Stop asking for the attention.
This can get out of hand, with neither partner bothering to interact with the other. We lose touch of reality, and with the ignored partner no longer spending time vying for the attention of the other, either or both will begin to feel neglected, undesired, and unappreciated. Would you really make the effort for someone who didn’t even seem to notice you are there? Then relationships can become victim to influences and issues that normally would not have affected you before. For example, if your partner seemingly has no time to sit and chat to you yet constantly checks their phone and social media, it can arouse suspicion, and even make you feel jealous that someone else is more worthy of their time than you are. You’ll be in a position where you can’t help but wonder who they are talking to. Who warrants their attention over you? Unfortunately, some relationships reach the point of no return. When being ignored by someone who should be investing time in you, you become needy, and often nag to get attention. Then you are seen as problematic, and unwittingly push the ignorer even further away as they just don’t see what your problem is. We are all worthy of a persons time, especially when you are meant to mean so much to each other.
A basic human need that is in all of us, is the desire to have interaction and stimulation from another human being. The relationships we have with other people will effect and influence our mental state, determining partly whether we feel happy or sad. When a person we rely on to change our mood the most becomes unavailable to us, then we are more likely to slip into a bad, depressive mood, hence leading to the feeling “why bother?”. Being around people we enjoy being around, those that we love, is only effective if we get their attention too. If the person we wish to spend time with is tied up with work or other things, then we aren’t going to get the happiness we crave. They need to be there in body and mind. If we are not made to feel worthy of their time, we begin to feel like a hassle in their life, a hindrance even.
My boyfriend, as mentioned before, works shifts. When we are lucky enough to have an evening off together, he doesn’t look at his phone at all. It stays in his pocket. His time, and attention, is on me. The time has been put aside for me. We recently had a silly little bet between ourselves which resulted in me winning a meal of my choice from him. When he texted to say he’d have to start saving, my genuine reply was;”The meal doesn’t have to be expensive. Time spent with you is more valuable than money spent”.
A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
― Charles Darwin, The Life & Letters of Charles Darwin
How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss
Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.
― Stephen R. Covey
In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.
– Sir John Lubbock