Friday, February 24, 2012

Spending Money I Don't Have While I've Got Time to Do So

Its 72 degrees, sunny, and I’m sitting on the porch of my Ivy Gardens apartment, staring at the UVA baseball stadium and wishing to God that I still had a year of NCAA eligibility left. I’m also punching myself for ever signing up for a class that would take place at 2:45 on a Friday (granted this is my only class all semester on a Friday, but still, c’mon).
It’s a rare moment of reflection for me in what’s been a crazy month with an even more ridiculous one on the horizon. This seems like the first Friday afternoon in forever that I’ve had to just sit back and relax. First it was a wedding in D.C. Then two weeks ago it was skiing in Snowshoe, West Virginia in a small three bedroom condo with 13 of my closest classmates (needless to say, things got . . . weird). This past weekend me and two dozen other Darden students headed south to New Orleans for Bourbon St., Mardi Gras, parades, beads, and lots of memories I’ll never remember (things got . . . weirder). Now I’m a mere 16 days away from a Spring Break trip to Cape Town, South Africa. For two weeks I’ll be either on a beach, hiking a national park, on hunting elephants on a safari (just kidding we’re not hunting them, but I might kick one or something, just to annoy it).

Me and Elvis on Bourbon St.
What do all these things have in common? A three-day hangover? Check. A mechanical bull? Check. A plane or car ride that gave me an excuse to put Adele on repeat? Check.  But mostly what ties everything together is the significant amount of money they require. Everything is relatively cheap (the plane ticket to South Africa was $750), but when you’re income stands at exactly zero dollars a week and has been for the better part of two years, it doesn’t matter all that much. I’m also usually pretty averse to spending money; I usually bring my own beers/flask to the bar and once even snuck an entire Dominos extra large pizza into a basketball game (don’t ask). Yet recently I find myself continually spending more money than I really should be. And I don’t really feel that bad about it.
Of course, the question is why? One of the most important things I’ve learned at Darden is that time is far more valuable than money. When a company is unable to deliver on a project, the true cost of that failure is not the money spent, it’s the time and manpower resources that have been wasted. The same goes for an individual stuck in a job or career they can’t stand; they might think they can’t quit because of the money but what they should realize is their time on earth is far more finite than their access to money ever will be.
Well, I’ve got a lot of time right now, tons of it. Probably more than I will ever, ever have again (unless, you know, I get fired). And like I’ve posted before, I totally intend to take advantage of it, whether that’s helping get business ideas off the ground, getting lunch with professors and other speakers, or taking on expenses for trips that I can’t really afford right now. Because, by the time I’m making enough money to do these things, I imagine that I’m going to be pretty short on time. That’s why I even made sure to push my start date back to the end of summer, to make sure I have time to travel, see new places, catch up with old friends, and try to get my life organized. So yea, even if I have to keep getting crap from my mom (“you’re taking another four months off? Didn’t you just take off two years?”) I don’t really care. I’m going to give myself as many opportunities as I can. Take that Sandy.   
So I know I said this before but it’s worth repeating: The most valuable thing you have is your time. So don’t waste it. I’m not going to.

Dave’s Awesome Song
Jeremy Kay – Have It All

Please don’t confuse this blog entry at all with the movie In Time with Justin Timberlake. That was just dreadful writing; this blog is only moderately bad.

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  1. your poor mom! great post :)

  2. tons of free time, eh? a visit to Richmond may be in order