The Value of an Hour

Let’s say you leave the house for an hour right now. You head downtown where it’s busy and you go for a walk. You stop and strike up a conversation with the third person that you see. Talk about anything. Ask them about their day and what they do for a living. Ask them anything.

Chances are, you’ll learn something. Maybe just something about them, but maybe about yourself as well.

You might make some improvement in your social repertoire. You might pick up on some seemingly small and irrelevant factoid from this person that could serve you down the road somewhere. Life has a funny was of doing that, doesn’t it? Like, you are just chatting and they tell you about a movie they just went to go see and how terrible it is. Rest assured, a few days later one of your friends will invite you to see said movie – to which you’ll already have the inside scoop.

Or maybe something much greater happens?

I was recently presented with a choice like this. It was – stay home and watch something on Netflix, or go run a few errands that could be done anytime. Not to have some wild adventure or insight into my soul, I chose the actual doing something because it needed to be done.

Standing in line at the bank, an older lady started talking to me for nothing likely more than boredom. She eventually asked about an envelope of money I was waiting to deposit. It did of course seem odd to have several thousand dollars in cash I suppose. I explained that I had just sold my motorcycle in an effort to sell everything I own, and explained that I was doing this to sail off to the Caribbean this year.

The lady was astounded. “So young?! How can you afford it?” She seems almost offended.

I explained that such a dream is not about “affording”, but more about simply making it work with whatever money you have. The “afford it” is a trap.

She, now quite condescending, explained that she and her husband were just now finally able to buy their retirement home and execute their life long travel plans only after saving for some 30 years. She referenced her friend whose husband had died at 61, just before he got to have the long-awaited retirement.

We talked a little about how people work their whole lives on the chance that they may get to relax and see the world and the traps along the way. Spending way too much on a house for example – it traps you into working more and more to pay for the extra bits that you didn’t need.

Buying too many fancy things. This is something we do typically to justify all the hours we spend at work so we can say “Well at least I have this big ass TV to show for it!”

The trap closes around us over the years and often too soon we run out of time.

Spending that hour at the bank instead of watching TV helped me a lot. It gave me perspective and validation in my choices a little bit. I guess this is two blog posts, go outside and have experiences is part one. Part two is don’t buy a TV lol.

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