Time, Energy, and Emotional Investment. What’s Important? A Different Lifestyle, Perspective.

One of the biggest lifestyle differences in the way I live is time value. I’m sure others with severe medical conditions, or even personal situations, would agree. We live a lifestyle so different it’s like a different culture.

Everyone has limited time and energy. A day is 24 hrs. That’s all you get. Those with more energy can sleep less, work faster, and do more than others in 24 hrs. Most work and activities are planned around this daily cycle, and expecting that cycle can stay on track.

Case in point. To hang out with someone for an hour or so sometime in the coming week, I’ll need to start adjusting my schedule now, rest even more so I’ll have the energy to go. Adjusting my schedule also means being more strict with my already strict diet, so I don’t risk a flare up or internal swelling. To maximize my chance of being healthy for said hang out, I’ll have to avoid going out for errands or over exerting myself in any other way. Also, probably take antihistamines that makes me drowsy in order to align my body clock with the 24 hr clock, whereas my usual body clock is subject to the ebbs and flows of weather changes.

All of this for one activity, which takes up a few hours during a whole week. You can see how just having two or three short commitments a week can take up all of my time. When my health was worse, one short activity would take up a month or more in preparation, as well as resting and recovery after.

On the contrary, many people seem to be able to have several such activities in a day, whether if its for work or fun. Dozens and dozens of short activities, lunches, and dates within a week. It’s a totally different lifestyle. It is quite interesting to observe the differences.

From a totally different lifestyle comes a different culture. A different way of thinking, experiencing, and doing.

Here’s what I’ve noticed that’s different.

Time, energy, and emotional investment. Lifestyle may be different, but we’re all still human. That means the more time and emotion we invest in something or someone, the more significant that thing is in our life. This applies to anything including friendships, hobbies, and even fights. As I’ve explained, I invest a lot if time, energy, and emotion into most things I commit myself to, even if they seem like insignificant parts of other people’s day. I’ve come to appreciate these little things as they’re significant as well as rare for me.

Rare and selective. What’s really important?  When something is rare, we value it more. People make a big deal about “firsts” because that experience only happens once. But rare experiences can cut both ways, they can be significant happy memories as well as memories that make you cringe. Time and opportunity to do things are rare for me. I’ve learned to be very selective with what I spend time on. The more selective I have to be, the more I learn about myself and what’s truly important. If you had to choose the top 100 of something, you’d start to ask yourself what’s important to keep and what’s not. It’s even more challenging to select the top 10. Finally, deciding on “the best,” “the one.” That is incredibly hard as you debate internally what core values you keep and let go of the rest. The other 9 candidates may be just as qualified, but it comes down to personal taste. What do you truly care about and what are you willing to forsake?

Obviously it’s nice to “have it all” or have a lot of choices, but it’s great to be sure what my core values are.


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