Of the things I value, I value my time most. Time is how I learn, grow and develop relationships. So, when my company informed us that we would be required to take furlough days for the next few months, I saw value in their decision. Not only does a furlough mean that we are spared the sadness of losing more good employees and that those of us left (and we are slim these days, believe you me) are spared the added responsibilities of a laid off co-worker, but I can also reclaim some time for myself. Yes, I am still plugged in to my day job, but I have also identified some things I want to do with this reclaimed time…write a blog, for example:)
I’m learning some things from this time. Last week I took my son to a puppet show at the library. While there, I got a phone call from a customer. As I whispered sweet workings into my phone, my son took off across the stage. ..causing me to curtail my conversation with my customer and chase after him with no shortage of embarrassment. I was frazzled and grumpy until I looked at my son – who’s gaze was (now) fixed on the puppet show that was, in fact, for him in the first place. Lesson #1: Your time is better spent when it is undivided. Turn off the phone. The world will not come toppling down in an hour and if it does then you probably couldn’t have done much to stop it in the first place.
This morning, I went to the mechanic. I brought a book with me that I have been struggling to find the time to read. Not a half dozen pages in, a Chatty Cathy entered and started talking to me about the book. This conversation progressed to a personal one and I took genuine delight in learning more about this woman’s life – past, present and ideal. Another waiting customer got looped into the conversation and before I knew it we three had discussed travel, culture, the recession, language-learning and so much more. It was such a good conversation that the three of us exchanged contact information with the intentions of keeping in touch (man, I really do love Volvo owners!). Lesson #2: Do not be jealous with your time. You may find that a change in the way you’d planned to spend it enriches you in ways you could never “plan” for anyway.
There are more things I want to do with my time today, as well as on my other furlough days. I’m going to try and clean the house enough so that my husband walks in and says “wow”. Between work and the kid and my other activities he doesn’t often get to walk in and say “wow”. I’m going to take my son to see Santa. I’ve pawned this job off on his daycare provider in previous years, but this year it’s mine. I’m going to read and write and practice yoga and I am going to use this time. Lesson #3: Use it or lose it. When you’re given the gift of time, no matter the reason, it is a gift and you may do with it as you please. At some points in your life you will have more and at some you will have less but its use is determined by you throughout.
So that’s how I feel about my furlough days. They may be holding back “my” money but I am SOOOOO happy they gave me some time! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some laundry to do:)