As I write this, superpowers and mutations with fantastic side effects are a thing that belongs to superhero narratives. It would be ever so funny if this turned out to be different a couple of decades from now.
You may be beaming this piece directly into your minds as you float above the floor, flitting around town to run your daily errands. Because yes, the future may be filled with wonders, but the fabric of the universe won’t let chores disappear.
Be the future as it may, however, I’d like to discuss with you the one superpower you already both possess: the ability to use your time to generate value in everything. To create. To improve your lives, and those of others.
Yes, it’s old me again, going on about the wisdom of knowing the value of your time, and how to use it best. But you know what? I’m writing this, and you’re still reading, so it means you don’t really want me to stop.
Princesses, it took me a while to figure this one out. For decades, and I do mean decades, I struggled with my sense of worth. Well, I didn’t really struggle with it. The crushing absence of any worth gave me a strong sense I wasn’t great at life.
I may well have been right, but as I simply could not figure out what my worth was, where my value lay, I had to come up with my definition. And for me, it was time. My time, my effort, my mind consciously applied to a task - that is where I make a difference. I hope you come to accept this too.
It’s not as crazy as it sounds. What are you? Really. Who are you? Your possessions? The memories others have of you? The pile of stuff you’re collecting to pass on to someone, one day? Your rank, the length of your serial number? Who are you?
Through one lens, those things are all useless. Possessions fade. They are outdated the moment you acquire them, so don’t judge yourself by that, please. Carry with you that which you love, and ignore the rest.
On the other hand, they do matter. You see, I have come to believe that your value is the change you bring into the world. You do this with your time, and with your effort.
Don’t worry, I haven’t gone senile on you. I don’t mean this in the hippie way. I mean it in the simple way of baking a cake. What separates cake from flour, milk, and sugar? Other than more ingredients? Your time.
You took the ingredients, and worked on them. Shaped them, quite literally, into a cake. You watched over it as it rose. You made sure it cooked properly. And by the time you read this, you’ve probably eaten it too.
Barring the last part? That was a pretty smooth example of just what I mean.
Your time is the only thing of value you possess. You can use it to make a difference. You can use it to create. You can choose to use your time to cook, bake, drive a car, make friends, learn Kung-Fu, and be anything you wish. You can leave memories in others, and become the repository of theirs.
Your time is the single power you possess that can change your life.
Don’t waste it. Don’t give it away too freely, always make sure you have some for yourselves, to do that thing you want to become. Don’t submit to the demands of a job that doesn’t leave you room to live. You may be acquiring stuff, but I guarantee you that unless you’re working for yourself on what you love, someone is stealing your time.
Do not enter a relationship with someone who leaves you tied to their limitations, who demands your time and doesn’t give of theirs for you. I know that giving feels good, and I’m going to have a talk about that with whoever designed our brains. Do not give your time without making a conscious decision about it. It’s the one thing you will never, ever get back. Time is the only currency you can never get back again. Money, possessions, even love - those can be grown, nurtured, multiplied.
You are born with all the time you will ever have. Live your life like you may run out at any moment. Only ever make the very best choice for who you give your time to.
Want to use some of it to do nothing at all except read, and watch shows, or play games? Of course! But be mindful. Make sure those are the things you have decided to apply yourselves too. Chances are, you’re not flitting about town running those errands. Chances are, you’re trying not to get crushed by the avalanche of problems, small and large, that life throws your way.
Take a step back. Stop thinking about them in terms of things you must do. Remember? We don’t count those. Decide how much time you have for those things. Assess what you could be doing with your time instead. Spend what you have wisely. And if a couple of rocks fall through and someone else isn’t entirely happy - heh. They didn’t love you.
You do what you can with your time. It’s a limit you cannot transcend. Always know what you are sacrificing, and fuck everything that doesn’t let you be who makes you happy. Anything, everything, and anyone who would take your time for granted, or simply take it.
And save me a piece of cake.