One of my 2024 intentions is to stop spackling time.

The Modern Gift of Time

Modern tech and clever design save me tons of time. I exhale a “Thank you” to the online gods every time I pay bills. What used to take me some two hours, 20 stamps, and sometimes a trip to the post office, now takes fewer than thirty minutes in PJs and before my second cup of coffee.

Seconds to reheat coffee in the microwave or to boil water on my induction stove top. Seconds to get room measurements with the laser measure tape. And—oh!—the commute and clothing-fuss time we save when we meet over Zoom.

How do we measure time saved thanks to online shopping? Or the hours saved researching with Google for work and study (apologies to all my librarians)?

It’s not just apps and tech that free up time for us, though. I mean, I’m ready to walk my dog in a minute thanks to my tennis shoes with no-tie laces and magic heel collars that slip over my heels like, well, slippers.

Yet, somehow, I’m time impoverished. What happens to all my newly recovered free time?

I’ve blamed everything for my time deficit, maybe even you. And often time itself.

I have to admit, I’m equally careless about extra money. I rarely squirrel it away because, thanks to Google and online shopping, I can immediately find a place to spend it.

But time isn’t like money. You can’t squirrel it away in a savings account. Except if you’re a leap year. There’s some squirrely time trickery in a leap year.

Focusing on this time right here, the only time we ever “have” is this very moment, and becoming mindful of it is the ultimate exercise is being present, living in the now.

Time Spackling

So what do I do in this very moment with all that time that opens up right now?

Similar to the money, I spend it right away, but maybe a better analogy is that bucket of time spackling that I carry with me, especially when I’m sitting right here, at my computer. I see a gap or the threat of an opening, I plug that time bugger up with time spackling and move on.

I say yes when I should say no, play puzzles when I could write paragraphs, scroll when I should stroll.

I’m not time deprived. A day is as long as it’s ever been. I’ve just been careless about what I pack into those 24 hours.

So, dear 2024, I see you. I know you squirreled away an extra day for us. I’m coming at you with more mindfulness around February 29 and around all those other minutes that open up. I’ll pay attention to those hours that stretch like days and the evenings that offer choices. I will embrace every second of the days that flow with all the important things: joy, creativity, laughter.

And I promise, 2024, even if I can’t lose my spackling bucket, I’ll try to keep the lid on it for most of the weeks you bring.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2024.