Lorraine, an independent business woman, speaks eloquently of the cost of a "successful" life: "You have to give up something to be a success in business. There's not time for everything. Me, I have very little time for my spiritual life. I don't have a civic life. And I do very little with friendships--anything that doesn't have to do with business. I don't have time to cultivate relationships that aren't profitable."
The problem is not simply that we work too much much, the problem is that we are working for the wrong reward. We are paid in the wrong currency. We reward the fruits of our labor and the sweat of our brow with money, goods, and services. We need to seek instead a more fertile, healing balance of payments--some of our pay in money, and some of our pay in time.
What if we were to expand our definition of wealth to include those things that grow only in time--time to walk in the park, time to take a nap, time to play with children, to read a good book, to dance, to put our hands in the garden, to cook playful meals with friends, to paint, to sing, to meditate, to keep a journal. What if we were to live, for even a few hours, without spending money, cultivating time instead as our most precious resource?