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In yesterday’s post I mentioned the phrase “time affluence.” For those of you who did not follow the link in the post, here is the definition given by Tal Ben-Shahar, a Harvard professor and author of the book Happier.

Time affluence is the feeling that one has sufficient time to pursue activities that are personally meaningful, to reflect, to engage in leisure. Time poverty is the feeling that one is constantly stressed, rushed, overworked, and behind.

The term “time affluence” came into use based on the work done by Tim Kasser, author, professor and chair of psychology at Knox College.  He found that people who are time affluent have a higher sense of well-being.  So it follows that creating time affluence would partner with nourishing oneself.

So how do you create time affluence?  The first step is to identify which activities are meaningful to you.  Take a look at what you do everyday and ask yourself if it is contributing to your well being.  Personally, when I started asking myself that question I cut back on the amount of time I spend on computer games and diverted that time to working on my novel.  The answers will be different for everyone.

For other ideas to increase time affluence you can check out these links.

Article:  Why Time Affluence Matters and 10 Ways to Boost Yours

Book:  Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America

And of course, please share some of your own comments on this topic.

One of the greatest gifts I have received in my journey to self nourish was the gift of cancer.  The disease and the two subsequent major surgeries forced me to stop the frantic life I was living.

 B.C (Before Cancer), I was an overscheduleaholic, trying to cram as much as possible into a day.  And yet, I frequently felt stressed and was often irritable with those around me.  I did a lot in a day yet I seldom felt satisfied at the end of the day. 

 Then cancer arrived.  During my post surgery weeks I was reduced to doing nothing all day long.  Or at least that’s how it felt.  I read, watched TV and talked to friends on the phone.  I got oodles of sleep.  I played with my dog and petted my cat.  I sat outside and watched birds.  When I was recovered enough to walk I took leisurely strolls in the park.

 It was wonderful.  Not only was I extremely grateful to be alive, I also became grateful for the little things in life, for having the time to enjoy them.

 But, time has moved on and so have I.  While I am not as busy as I was B.C.  I have forgotten many of the lessons of those post surgery days.

 One of those lessons was the concept of underscheduling.  When I was recovering from surgery my daily to-do list usually had only one or two items on it compared with my twenty or more items B.C.  The post surgery to-do list contained only items that were absolutely essential.  I had to pare my list down to necessities because that’s was all I had the strength to do.  And you know what?  At the end of the day I felt satisfied if I had completed my one or two items for the day.  I felt that I had accomplished something.

 That brings us up to today and the concept of time affluence.  It turns out that once our basic material needs (food, clothing, and shelter) are met, gaining more money doesn’t make us any happier.  Instead, it is time affluence that increases our sense of well being.

 What is time affluence?  Stay tuned because that is what I am going to talk about tomorrow and Thursday.  Until then, here is today’s question to ponder.

 Have you ever learned a major life lesson and then later, forgotten to apply it?

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April 2023