Time is the most precious of currencies. More cannot be made nor can it be accumulated. Maybe most importantly, it has a steady leak of going away never to return.
Now, that really sounds sort of glum and morbid mentioning the reality of time and all. But we can look at it another way: sitting around and wasting time is simply not an option. You have to act and use your time for something. If we only have so much, might as well make the most of it for what we can, right?
I bring this up because we are in an unusual situation. Our normal routines for work, life and play are sidelined and it's uncertain as to when they will return. With that, a lot of us are likely left with more free time than we are used to or in situations totally new (kids home all day, for example).
No question, the natural reaction is to resent all this. It’s a total pain, brings about new inconveniences and drives stress up to new magnitudes. If we all thought having relatives over for the holidays was sometimes a headache, this brings a new perspective (something worth thinking about when you’re at Thanksgiving next time around).
Going back to the opening remark though, we have a choice in how we see things and there may be opportunities worth tackling amid these circumstances.
Considering that most of us are home bound, how about directing focus on what’s been building on the to-do list? I’m not referencing the small duties like cleaning the stove or shaking out rugs. I’m talking about the big plans you have in mind. The real projects that you shrug off because there’s no time after work and the summer weekends are better spent on something else.
This is the moment. Do. It. Now.
Sure, some of these might require some supplies or having access to stores. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start the planning process. It doesn’t mean preparations can’t be done. Get the ball rolling and get past the first hurdle.
Say you’ve been meaning to tame those out of control flower beds or build a better-looking yard. Now you can go outside, look things over, conjure up ideas and make the plan. Maybe even going so far as to call up friends or family who know a thing or two about what you have in mind.
If none of this charges your interest, consider this then: amid all the concern and trouble at hand, we can look for opportunities to make a positive impact. Maybe when out on an evening walk, you bring along a bag and pick up trash that’s now exposed through the melting snow. Or maybe you take 15 minutes out of the week to clean your street's stormdrains of grit and debris otherwise washed away into the river.
Whatever the action and result, use your time for something worth doing. Or else it goes wasted.
Chris Gass is the conservation education and outreach coordinator for the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District. For more information about the Carlton SWCD and any of the staff's or supervisors' work with natural resources, call 218-384-3891. Find more information about Carlton SWCD on Facebook and at carltonswcd.org.