Monday, August 12, 2013

The Art of Quality Time or Time that qualifies as a masterpiece.

time to save - stockton, ca. 2012.

Time is an Art, much like its a business. How you spend yours qualifies how beautiful your life will be. Spend it wisely and you'll have a masterpiece. Waste it and you'll have nothing.

I recall spending much of my senior year of college working. It's not that I didn't entirely enjoy the curriculum or my teachers, it's that I found myself having to work hard to pay for school. And that's where my mind wanders back to 22. I think back fondly to the times I spent in and out of college and there's nothing that compares to my time spent in class. Although it wasn't until I returned to school five years later for my Interior Design degree that I could truly appreciate that time.

My design teacher and mentor, Anne taught me a great many things, most had nothing to do with school and a lot to do with practical application of a business. Nonetheless Anne introduced me to different periods of art, furniture, creation & design. My favorite part of the curriculum was the practical application. Thankfully she provided me with the equivalent of full masters in work experience within a two to three year span. 

The experience was always rewarding and unlike my senior year of college I never put either school or work last. I placed my time between both equally and rarely missed either. Although there were many sleepless nights and long days with many skipped meals I graduated. I earned my design degree while working two jobs and carrying a full course load yet, somehow, I never noticed where all the time went because it was exactly where I wanted to be. 

By now you're wondering... Why the ramble?

I found myself having dinner and a glass of wine alone on a lovely outdoor patio last week following a movie. Now it wasn't that I was being nosy. But I happened to overhear a woman telling a man about how he wasted her time. How he couldn't get the hint it was time and she shouldn't be telling him it's time. As the waiter left their dinner, she continued to say that he let her believe they had a future and how it had been all his fault that it was now over.

And at no point in her raving & ranting at the man did she take any personal responsibility. When she was done talking the woman left without eating. I watched the man unfold his napkin and begin to eat his dinner. He must have caught me with a look of shock because he shook his head and smiled before saying, “The chicken is delicious. Did you order the chicken?”

I shook my head and pointed to the wine & bread. 

He said to me, “I bet you think I'm heartless for sitting here and eating like this. Well here's the thing, I've saved up to bring her to this place liked she asked me to. I bought clothes and shoes I couldn't afford and I haven't eaten anything remotely food-like for a week or more. I did everything she asked of me. I even brought her to this restaurant that I hate. Look I won't plead my case to you but throwing out one of the best meals I've had in weeks is something I can't do. You can't blame me.”

I smiled and said nothing. Of course I couldn't blame him.

But with that encounter I was reminded of how conflicted human nature is. 

There's always things that others do. We can let them change us or affect us or we can simply choose not to be. We can hold firm to the moment and take hold of it. But with that realization comes the responsibility of owning our actions and choices. 

The woman had been wrong. The man did not make her do anything she did not want to do already. He didn't even make her stay. She chose to be in a relationship with that man. She chose to believe they had a future. My guess is that, much like dinner that night, she didn't bother to ask him if there was a future. What's worse is that it was her fault she was there. She wanted to be there up until she left. Why say that? She could've left any time she wanted. It wasn't necessary to continue if she needed to manipulate that man into doing something that didn't occur to him already. 

So what's the point? Everything is a choice. You are a reflection of your choices. You embody and represent them. How you spend your time is up to you. 

I don't regret the past. I don't regret going to work full-time over school. I don't regret going back to school for design at a later time. I don't regret my mistakes. I don't regret writing. It's been a joy. The best time of my life was spent writing. The shortest story written was far more fulfilling than anything else. Time has allowed me to appreciate all that I've been fortunate to do. 

So before you waste your time or someone else's... Think: Is this what I really want and where I want to be? If not, maybe its time to rethink things. It's OK if you aren't in the right place now. We all find our way. Maybe you'll be surprised. 

To create a work of art from your life you must be where you want. For you see... Time is an Art. And Art is always up to you.

What qualifies a life to be a masterpiece? Time well spent. 

Are you spending your time wisely? 

Kisses, m.

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