The luxury of time

I could spend some time here!

I could spend some time here!


There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.    ~ Mahatma Gandhi

What is the luxury of time? My own definition…no rushing, no scurrying about. Time to linger over coffee, or a decadent dessert, or a long conversation, sitting in my rocking chair, looking out over the water. Time to be. The luxury of time is not a treat of the every day. I sometimes encounter it on a Saturday morning, or evenings, after dinner is done and my day is settling about me.

Luxury is usually associated with possessions and money. A study I read suggested that beyond a basic level of comfort, more money, more stuff, doesn’t really create more happiness.

But time. Now there’s a luxury that money can’t buy. Or sometimes it can, but often it doesn’t. Often, more money means less time.


Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. ~ Carl Sandburg


I come from a long line of doers. I am hard-wired to make lists, to find pleasure in things done. Stillness has been an acquired taste. Because the value of stillness isn’t to be found in items neatly checked off, I was once suspicious of it. Was I wasting time if I produced nothing visible? But I learned. I learned that I can rush getting errands done, or chores finished. But I can’t rush being.

Dreaming and planning and creativity require time. Time to think, and time to produce. But more than that, bountiful time is a state of mind. I find when I match my pace to the rhythm of intention, I’m more at ease. I find my stride with the day’s demands. The best way to have more time is to be thoughtful about  the spending of it. Like any resource, time can be depleted, wasted, frittered away. Carving out opportunity to replenish myself requires careful planning. I plan and organize time so I can be frivolous with it elsewhere in my week.

The reward of the hustle-bustle is the slow and easy.

I’ll admit…a little luxury goes a long way, and I can enjoy that pleasure in almost any form: luxury of place, or of food, or beautiful views. But luxury of time…now that’s the real thing.

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” ~ Bill Watterson 

17 thoughts on “The luxury of time

  1. One of my favorite quotes is from George MacDonald, author of Unspoken Sermons and Sir Gibbie (a very sweet story),

    “Certainly work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as a sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.”

    He was born in 1824. Even then, he needed to preach this sacred idleness in a culture where, I imagine, God was revered within nature by far more people than townfolk in the U.S. are prone to today. I also imagine their resting in the hot part of the day and lingering at meals if only to rest after more physical work than we know in the developed world. They still needed this reminder.

    Thank you, Sheila!


  2. Since I’m retired…I am trying new things and trying to stay busy…but, I too…waste so much time that I could be doing things that are so much more productive…but, then I say to myself…I did that for sooo long…Can’t I just waste a little now…”That I have time!”…


  3. Great post, Sheila! This week, I was so squeezed for time, even getting stressed by work deadlines and then by the social agenda too. There are times that weekends with nothing to do are real treats. That’s the luxury of time for me. 😉


  4. I am really glad I made time to read this. I have done a lot of frittering lately – I think I will make more of an effort to be thoughtful about how I am spending my time.


    • Oh I fritter on a regular basis! But that’s part of the point…I just have to be thoughtful about the how and when of frittering. But often that’s a really important part of my week. I’m sure that’s true for you as well! ~ Sheila


    • I understand! I try to squeeze a little “me” time in each week, whatever that means…reading or writing or trying something new…but it is hard to do it consistently. And often by the time I’m at a quiet point of my day, I’m out of energy to accomplish much! But hope springs eternal, right?!


  5. Sheila – I need to remember this! With my star chart, I started developing an incentive list for when I crossed all of my items off the list for a week. Then I realized that I am broke LOL and decided that giving myself a “day off” is the best reward I could get!


    • I understand completely! I do that too…maybe it’s universal…think things that are on my wish list as a reward for finishing a project or reaching a goal. But I like your idea of a day off. That is truly like gold to me…to have a day that is unstructured and serendipitous. Perfect! ~ Sheila


  6. Remember that Simon & Garfunkel song … “Slow down .. you move too fast .. you’ve got to make the moment last..”

    I hear ya, sister. Time to fritter away is a luxury I enjoy 🙂


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