Sometimes I feel like something is wrong with me, that I should be able to find it, hold it in my hands on occasion. That I should be able to spend it like money in the bank, making withdrawals when I need it, registering deposits overnight. I should be able to count on it because it's as available to me as it is to anyone else, particularly those who manage to proudly display an aptitude for the handling of it. Those who daily boast, "Look at all I've done!" Or, those who promise, "Look at all I can offer you!"
In other words, those who say, "Look at all the time I have!"
And I wonder, where is all my time going?
It takes time to write consistently. Time to do what it takes to be successful these days. Time to be committed.
Whereas financial success was once dependent upon self-investment, it's now, in the digital age, a product of self-promotion. Because good ideas aren't good unless they're sold in time.
The kind I don't have. The kind I'm incapable of digging out, manufacturing, or pretending I have access to.
In today's world, if we aren't selling, we aren't triumphant, or at least that's the way it seems. We must market ourselves, put our persona out there, gain attention. That way we may offer society the end-all, life-shattering device, cleaning implement, beauty aid, nutritional supplement, workout plan, word of advice, etc.--the one that will surely save all of humanity. And line our own pockets in the interim.
While making us feel as though we matter to the rest of universe. The one that convinces us we have Dynamic Purpose.
We've taken promotion to a shattering level, sacrificing time with our families and friends, and most importantly, our God, so that in many instances we can't even be sure of what genuine is anymore. It seems as though there is no business or life untouched by either sales or social media, by the need to sell or to prove--what we offer and who we say we are, and to back it up with sound reason and supportive photography.
The art of networking is often disingenuous.
Yesterday one of my adult daughters shared her disappointment over this. An long-lost acquaintance from high school had reached out to her on FaceBook, suggesting a play date for their children. Though Kelsea was taken back, as she hadn't connected with this woman for years, she felt it a pleasant offer. Until her friend asked her about a workout plan and nutritional program. Was she aware of it?
That sort of reaching out stings.
Add social media into the rubbing elbows equation, and we have a society never before so sales pitch-oriented. I no sooner leave my email on a site regarding content I'm interested in, and I begin to receive a barrage of email letters, sometimes twice and three times daily, from moms who just want to look out for my welfare or publishers who want me to know trade secrets or diet gurus who want me to benefit from what they've learned.
Where do any of these people find the time?
To promote themselves while still doing the important work and living. How do they share ideas and post pictures and engage with others on line, to write blogs and opinions and letters every day, multiple times a day? To hawk their products and themselves in equal measure?
While playing games with their kids and enjoying their spouses? Being good listeners to friends, physically helping those in need? How do they find the time to breathe, to inhale deeply, to drink in silence? To luxuriate in the beauty of authentic friendship?
Are they ever able to step away from the hustle?
Or are they always mentally preparing for the next pitch? Oh, I know there are plenty of home-based businesses that help the stay-at-home mother or those who need to supplement their income. I get it. No problem. But when it makes people feel less because of it, it's time to re-consider our priorities. When we are smaller because of it, when our time for the important things diminishes alongside it, it's time to re-define success. When we are unaware of the way it makes people feel, especially our families and friends, it's time to give it up.
It's those final thoughts that bring me back around. Because the way I feel is that I am missing out because I am not taking the time to fully invest in myself. And maybe that's the problem. I cannot be so me focused that the world around me blurs. I may lament the loss of the time I need to make a success of my writing by society's standards, but I'm finally mindful of the truth.
I haven't lost the time I've been given. I have plenty of it.
Time is still there for me, ready for my withdrawal in the new day, written in the ledger's past too, illustrating how I've allocated it in the previous one. So I'm frustrated I've not accomplished all I would have liked to each day, and when I run out of it for good I may still feel that way.
But I will always make an effort to remember how good it felt to have spent it the way I did. That is Dynamic Purpose for you.