Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Fake Golden Rule

When I was a kid, I would often go to work with my parents,  just as Rio is doing with me (to the same place!).  Most of the time, I stayed in the office with my mom, stamping stuff, sometimes actually help sort through papers, rolling chairs in the shop and sometimes stapling my fingers (that's another story).  Periodically though, I would go out in the field with my dad.  This would include visits to job sites, runs to supply houses, lots of conversation and 'learning moments' on our drives.

On one of these drives with my dad at work, my dad decided to teach me about the Golden Rule and thought it would be entertaining to teach me that it was "Time is Money."  We'd go into supply houses that day and he would have me tell the workers there what I learned.  Time is money.  They'd get a good laugh and I'd enjoy being the center of attention for a bit.
A short while later while in Sunday School (back in the day when we went to church), we began discussing the Golden Rule and when our teacher asked if anyone knew what it was, I quickly and excitedly raised my hand.  When my teacher called on me, I proudly shared the Golden Rule:  Time is Money.  I was shocked to learn in that class that that wasn't actually it.  I don't think my dad thought his 'teaching' would stick like it did.  After class, my Sunday School teacher had a word with us.  We still laugh about it all today.

Early on in my teaching, I remember another teacher sharing with us some cultural perceptions that people from other countries have of the United States.  One of those perceptions was my fake golden rule, time is money.  There it was again.

I'm a workaholic.  Even in my downtime, I HAVE to be productive.  I can't watch TV, ride passenger in the car, lay in the hammock without feeling like I'm getting something done.  If my hands aren't busy, I feel like I'm wasting time.  It's a good problem to have but sometimes I think it's to the point of being obsessive.  It makes me wonder how much of that fake Golden Rule rings true in my subconscious.  Is it cultural?  Is it my upbringing?

I do think there is something to learn from that fake golden rule though.  Time is valuable.  Ridiculously valuable and precious.  My dad would also say to my sister and I (when we wouldn't get our bums out of bed in the morning), 'You're Burning Daylight'!  Basically through that and the fake golden rule, he's taught us to get up, get going and make the most of your day, however you may.

One of the beauties of having a baby is being forced to slow this train down.  A few times a day, I am forced to stop, sit and feed which makes me stop, think and breathe.  At night I'm forced to stop, lean back and help a baby go to sleep.  These pauses have taken a bit of time to get used to but I now find that I welcome them.  I'm not sure I would have found this room to breathe without a baby.

With this new aspect of life now, baby Rio, I want to make sure that I don't work too much and that I replace some of my need to be productive with a need to creative positive, special memories with our family.  At the same time, I want to teach her the joy I find in productivity and that having a child won't make her put the brakes on her hopes and dreams.  I want to teach her to make the most of each day while being present in the day.  It's a careful balance.

I do know one thing though, I'll be teaching her the real Golden Rule :)

1 comment:

  1. i couldnt agree more that our time is one of our most valuable assets, which is why we dont own a tv or have netflix or anything. plus we're just crazy busy.

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