I’m on vacation this week and next, so this seems the right moment for composing the final entry in the series that began in July with Tithing Time and then moved on to Attracting Time. In these posts, I have been exploring the concept that when we donate time (or anything else), we naturally attract more of it by reason of having a more abundant mindset.
At first I wondered if I might find it easier to organize my schedule, thus causing me to feel that I had more time. But what actually ended up happening over the past few months was more disorganization—nothing really major, just some unexpected and distracting events that left me feeling off my stride. Definitely some lessons about patience in there for me!
Among other things, my daughter did not move to Cleveland as she had planned, but instead met a new boyfriend and decided to find a job closer to home. So she is still living here, along with her dog (who is curled up at my feet comfortably snoozing as I write this). Boyfriend and dog are both very nice, so there is really nothing for me to complain about, other than my daughter’s atrocious clutter in the hall closet and the house not being as quiet as usual.
Because I felt distracted, it was already December before I thought about how much unscheduled vacation time I had left. As with most jobs nowadays, my vacation days do not carry over from one year to the next, but must be used by the end of the calendar year. I had told my manager that I wanted to take off the last two weeks of December—that was scheduled already. But I still had three days left in this year’s allotment, after subtracting the two days I donated; and, of course, by then no Fridays were available because my coworkers had snapped them all up. I ended up taking a Wednesday off and working the other days.
So, the final result of my time-attraction experiment was that after donating two days of vacation time to a coworker who was caring for a dying relative, I found myself short two additional days because I got too distracted to do anything with them. Although this obviously wasn’t one of the possible outcomes I’d had in mind, on reflection I would say that there really was a positive shift in my mindset, however circuitous the route to it might have been.
In past years, I always paid close attention to my vacation balance and made sure to take whatever was coming to me. After all, it was part of my compensation, just like money—so, if I ever had given back any unused vacation days to the company I’d have been just as annoyed as if I carelessly lost money! But something changed in the way I thought about my vacation time this year, and instead it seemed like no big deal. Vacation time, work time, whatever, it soon will pass. Why worry about it?
To be clear, I don’t mean that my holiday time off this year is any less enjoyable. On the contrary, the past few days have been peaceful and relaxing. We all need time to rest and recharge! But what we don’t need—and what I hadn’t realized I was doing, until now—is to hoard time like a long-ago miser sitting on a heap of gold coins. Holding onto anything too tightly, whether it’s time, money, or old stuff that has turned into clutter, means there’s no space left to hold anything more! And that is a lesson I would consider well worth the money equivalent of two vacation days.