Precious Time: How To Spend My Days On Earth

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Precious Time

Pip, age 5. She's wearing a Flamenco costume I found on a trip to Barcelona.
Pip, age 5. She’s wearing a Flamenco costume I purchased during a trip to Barcelona, Spain.

How we spend every moment on planet earth is important. Even hobbies take up much mental and physical energy/time in our lives. We only have days on this earth, ten decades if we’re really fortunate. How do I want to spend my time left on planet Earth?

I am fortunate in that I live a life that allows me to have leisure time. Life for me isn’t just survival as it is for so many on this planet. I am also a naturally curious human being. I am interested in almost everything. I want to dive into things and learn about them. My curiosity can sometimes overwhelm me with new opportunities to explore. Thus, it is important that I am cognizant of the finite number of days I have on planet earth in this life. My time on this earth is precious and I cannot waste a moment of it. It hurts to face this mortality but to deny it foolish.

I am reminded of words by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh: At any moment you have the choice that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.

I consider everything I take on as either leading me towards my spirit or away from it. It is vital to be invested in every moment of life. Thus, I guard my time preciously. I aim to devote myself to only a few pursuits precious to my heart.

Adding A New Leisure Past Time To Life

I was reminded of my need to prioritize my time this weekend. I participated in a workshop on Flamenco Dancing (with Fiona Malena from Spain). I’ve been a fan of Flamenco for years and have always wanted to try it. The opportunity presented itself as Fiona was visiting my city for a short time and it was now or never!

Flamenco is the most difficult (cerebral) dance I have ever attempted. It makes tap look like a walk in the park. Flamenco is an entire universe of language, music, percussion and dance styles. It is dance, guitar, singing and language, all in one. A glimpse into this universe is a little overwhelming. Everything is done on unique and varied beats and off beats. I have been practising so that I might be able to do our routine without missing a beat.

Flamenco is like all leisure type of things that fascinate me on this planet: do I want to devote my time on earth to studying this particular interest for the pure enjoyment of it?

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Senorita  Penelope!

Deciding if I want something new (like Flamenco) in my life always causes a small dilemma in my psyche. Can I afford the time in my life for this pursuit? I am driven and determined. I’m not happy just getting by, even when it’s for fun. If I take on something it will be the intention to master it simply for the personal thrill of it. Therefore, I must only fully devote myself to things that truly lead me closer to my spirit otherwise I will waste much time.

I’m in training for the BMO race in Vancouver next month. I did notice that after a weekend of wearing Flamenco heels, my calf muscles felt seriously strained after a ten km run. Wearing heels and then slipping on running shoes doesn’t seem to be the easiest for my legs. This is something to consider: I do a lot of different sports and I am always injuring myself in some small way (I think positive); thus, how each sport effects my body impacts my ability to do all the others.

Maximizing Time Through Trial & Error

We are all constantly faced with little (sometimes big) dilemmas asking us the same questions:

What new to let into my life? What to let go of to make room for the new? What to hold onto and keep? What to say good-bye to?

My goal is to never stop experimenting and trying new things—being comfortable with the feeling of being in WAY over my head keeps me calm and relatively fearless in new situations. Though, I admit, it hurts a little to be slapped with the reality that I’m not as fantastically skilled as I’d like to be—it’s a tough-love lesson in humility. Thus, I regularly make a point of trying new things that make me feel completely clueless and incompetent. I may not choose to work many of my experiments into my daily repertoire but they keep me humble and life interesting!

Pip as Señorita Penelope the Flamenco dancer.
Pip as Señorita Penelope the Flamenco dancer.

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