How to Spend Time without Filling It

Time

In honor of Leap Day, 2020,  I want to suggest that tomorrow is a fantastic time to play with discovering how to spend time without feeling the need to fill it up. 

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Because that’s what we usually do. If we find a chunk of time, we pack stuff into it because we’ve got a real association between time and value. If you have, or ever have had, a job where you get paid by the hour, you know this idea intimately, that time is money. 

But time isn’t really money

Time is…its own thing. (Now, we could get into a whole big philosophical discussion about whether time truly exists. And if you want to get scientific, we could talk about Einstein’s theory that time is relative and moves at different speeds depending on how high you are and fast you’re traveling). But I want to keep this simple. 

Time doesn’t have value because of what you can accomplish or produce during it. It’s not a tool. It’s just a fact. A truth. A part of nature. Like a mountain. 

Time has value simply because it exists. Just as you have value simply because you exist, and not because of how much you accomplish or produce. 

So I’d like to suggest that we all honor Leap Day, and the bonus time it provides, by making a conscious choice to NOT try to fill it

Which I know can be sort of a radical idea. Because if you’re not going to fill time, what are you going to do with it? 

Well, you could just…be.

No goals. No to-dos. And no agenda. Think of it as a Sabbath, meant to give yourself a chance to catch up to yourself, or perhaps to catch up with people you’ve been too busy to connect to. It’s really just an opportunity to enjoy the present moment and be here, in the only form of time that we can ever really be in, which is now, and not pretending we’re in the past or the future. So, tomorrow i invite you to just be very present minded and enjoy this bonus 24 hours. 

I know the first question that comes after a radical idea, and that is… how?

How do I just be for an entire day? 

Well, I wrote a blog post about this very thing, called 29 Mindful Ways to Spend February 29th.

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