Sunday, 17 July 2011

Time or Money?

I drafted this post about a month ago but never got to finish it until today.


Something came up last week that left me wondering which is more important, time or money.

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Keen to find a good answer to my dilemma, I turned to my laptop and googled "which is more important, time or money?" and was led to a number of blogs discussing the topic. Not surprisingly, most answered that time is more important because as my practical husband puts it, time is money.

I am not fully convinced though by the general answers and points that were raised to give time the upper hand.

I remember an argument I had with a cousin when I was in grade school. We were waiting for the jeepney and I asked my father for extra allowance. He said money was tight and had nothing more to give me. In my disappointment, I said half-jokingly,"Bakit hinde ka na lang kasi mag-abroad?!?"
My cousin who overheard me countered that I shouldn't utter such nonsense and be glad instead that I am enjoying my papa's company everyday of my life. Her mom worked abroad and her father passed away when she was young.

I did not take her interference lightly and almost told her to keep her mouth shut. Easy for her to say because she had all the toys and new clothes she wanted. I felt she had no right to lecture me. I did not for a moment try to put myself in her shoe. I was brewing the whole day and thought that life was unfair because I didn't and couldn't get what I wanted.

My cousin played with barbie dolls. I played with paper doll cut-offs from used folders and illustrated by my artistically-inclined papa. A treat of pizza or ice cream had to be equally divided among a brood of seven. Other kids played super mario, we played patintero, sungka and bingo.

I used to imagine I was adopted and my real parents were filthy rich. One day, I fantasized, they would come and 'rescue' me and provide me all the toys, clothes and money that I yearned for. Of course it never happened but it did not hurt to dream.

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My materialistic fantasies were reinforced in my teenage years when I watched the film 'Clueless' with my barkada and I was so enamored of Alicia Silverstone's walk-in closet. Everyday, she would choose her outfit with the help of a computer. She would don her chosen clothes, model them and take a picture of herself. She would then choose the best outfit. Wow!

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Back then and into my working years, I put more value in money and what it can buy. I guess it's not until you get a taste and feel of money in your hands that you realize it is not the ultimate source of happiness. It does help to have money though.

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When you're single and young, you have a lot of energy and enthusiasm to put in your job. Having had a career that required long hours of work, I also know the value of time. I complained, a lot, but stayed on for years. The high I got from stress and deadlines and unbeatable camaraderie with colleagues were addictive. It was not until I had a son that I had a paradigm shift. I started putting more value in time, spending a good part of it with my husband and son.

The importance of time and/or money is therefore relative. It depends on one's past experiences, current situation and preferences, and future goals or objectives. What I have learned is that I cannot live happily and meaningfully with just one, I need a healthy balance of both.

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