This post is being writing from Sacha’s. It’s a Colombian restaurant on Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville, SC. It’s a place I have passed LITERALLY 5,000 times. I’ve always wanted to check it out, but I never have.
One of the things I appreciate about going through chemotherapy is the way it changes my relationship with time. Not in the, “Woe is me, I’m facing my own mortality” way. It’s much more concrete than that. Chemo has a rhythm, a schedule. Six days bad, eight days good. I get treatment on Tuesday. Feel like shit until Saturday. Then from Sunday to the following Monday, I feel completely fine. Better than fine, actually, because I know it’s not going to last forever. It makes me really cognizant of how I’m spending time.
How many times in my life have I said those words?
“I spent some time downtown.”
“I spent some time watching baseball.”
How little have I thought about what it actually means.
Spend is a verb. It’s something I do. It means to use or give out of the whole. To exhaust.
Time is a noun. It’s a thing I have. It means the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.
So spending time means that I am giving out or exhausting a part of my existence.
To spend time indicates that I should be getting something back for the thing I am giving. Right?
If I spend money, it’s for something. I’m not just throwing it away. And if I’m that careful with money, a resource I occasionally get more of, then shouldn’t I be extremely aware of how I spend my time, the one resource I’ve got all I’m going to get?
If I’m spending time do I really want to use it on Facebook? Or doing nothing? Or doing myself? Or doing the same thing over and over again?
I fully realize that it is impossible to savor every moment, just like I can’t savor every dollar. Some dollars have to go to paper towels so I can clean up my house, which reminds me I need to do that today. Because I have to clean my house some of my time has to go to work I might not like so I can get those dollars to buy those paper towels.
The point is we're all spending. We’re all paying the price. I just no longer have the luxury of not thinking about it.
So that’s why I’m writing this post from Sacha’s. Fresh off on amazing meal of shredded chicken and fried plantains. With this green chili sauce I squeezed on top. It was a delicious seven dollars and I'm glad I spent it.
It’s so easy to look at someone like me and feel sympathy because I have a disease I’m dealing with. But we all have a limited amount of time. I just can no longer pretend that isn’t true.
Today I feel great. Next week I won’t. I know that for a fact.
How lucky is that