Taking Time

Have you ever wondered about that phrase? "Taking time." It sounds like I'm stealing something that's not rightfully mine.


And I think that's where I run into problems.


To start, time doesn't belong to me. I don't start my day in lawful possession of 24 hours. I cannot own time any more than I can own the stars, or the ocean, or the air that I breathe. It's not mine, so getting defensive or possessive over it is a bit silly.


For another thing, "taking" time is exactly what I'm doing. I'm removing a portion or spending a portion of a limited resource on a specific task, when I might possibly be doing something else. Just like if I have $15, and I spend $3.99 on a bag of chips, then I can no longer by the $15 speakers for my computer. I have "taken" money from the total.


And to wrap it all up, when I "take time" to do ABC rather than doing XYZ, there are people who will feel that a portion of my time was owed to them, either because I had promised it or because they are entitled people. And if we're being really honest with ourselves, aren't we all like this a bit? We get upset with a friend or sibling for choosing to spend time X way instead of Y way? (I know I do.)

But Ink, what does this have to do with reading or writing?


Merely this:


If reading (or writing) is a thing that's important to you, then you will make time for it one way or another, either by devoting unoccupied time to that task, or by dedicated time and rededicating it to another task (in this case, reading or writing).


A man once said to me (quoting someone else, no doubt) "Show me a man's checkbook, and I'll tell you what his priorities are."


I would offer: "Show me a man's schedule, and I'll tell you what his priorities are." They are very much the same. Both money and time are limited resources and have many claims on them.


So on those days when I say "I want to write, but I have no time," 9 times out of 10, I just don't want it bad enough. I have time to check my email or scroll through my Tumblr feed or check Facebook, but not enough time to whip out a notebook and scribble a couple things?


Nah.


I just need to shake out my priorities.

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