Is It Worth It?
I’m curious, how often would you say you ask yourself the question, “is it worth it“? Mind you, there are two “it’s” in that question that can be filled a million different ways. For the purpose of this blog post, however, let’s personalize the question by removing the first “it“, and replacing the second with either, time or attention.
So we’ll try it this way: how often would you say you ask yourself the question(s):
“Is _______________ worth my time?”
“Is _______________ worth my attention?”
I really believe one of the most precious things we have in our possession is our time and attention. In fact, I would go as far as to argue that in some ways, the quality of our lives is predicated upon what we give our time and attention to.
The problem is, our culture has created a dynamic in which distraction has been normalized. In other words, what may otherwise be identified as a “distraction”, has now been woven into the very fabric of who we are, and how we interact with one another.
We find our entertainment, social lives, and public persona’s in the things that constantly vie for our time and attention. So we give ourselves to them, willfully, because it’s in these distractions where we find comfort and identity.
Time & Attention
I’ve had “time” and “attention” on my mind.
I think it’s because Judah turned 5 months last week. It seems like yesterday Bri and I were bringing home a 7 pound baby that did nothing but eat and sleep. Now we have a 20 pound baby that rolls around and interacts with us.
Realistically speaking, the time and attention that I give Judah now will not be remembered by him. He won’t remember Bri and I acting like fools hoping to get him to giggle again. He won’t remember how we encouraged and cheered him on (as if he understood what we were saying) when he tried to roll over for the first time. He won’t remember how we would sing to him “you are my sunshine” every night before we put him down to sleep.
But we’ll remember it.
To me it’s about precedent. If I’m unwilling to put aside distractions now, in order to give my son the time and attention he deserves, especially at an age where he’s developing almost daily – then what makes me think I’ll do it later in his life?
The Most Important Thing
My parents weren’t always able to give my sister and I the “things” that we wanted growing up. We never lacked anything, but there were definitely Christmas’ and birthday’s where we were forewarned that things were tight.
However, despite those moments, there were always two things my sister and I were given plenty of – time and attention.
Her and I both did JROTC, and looking back, I can’t think of a single time my parents missed a competition. The pic below is after I won 1st place at states in a competition known as “Armed Individual Exhibition”. My parents were so ecstatic you would’ve thought they won the competition themselves. My Dad was so giddy he started calling family and friends just to tell them the news.
Their time and attention is the most important thing they’ve ever given to me. The fact that they were there – and not just there, but present, and in the moment, meant the world to me.
Life & Parenting
Measuring where our time and attention is placed is not just a practice for parenthood. Naturally my mind goes to that now that Judah is in the mix. But I feel like this is a life skill to be honed and perfected.
The act of honing is one normally associated with sharpening a knife. The only reason you would ever sharpen a knife is to ensure its effectiveness.
I’m sure we can agree that in life and parenting we want to be effective.
However, much like a craftsman must maintain the quality of his tools to ensure his success, I cannot expect effectiveness in my life and parenting if I don’t protect and fine tune the instruments at my disposal – my time and attention.
Alright, let’s wrap this up.
Ask Yourself the Question(s)
As I read back through this blog post I struggle finding the exact point I’m trying to make. Honestly, this post has felt more like a stream of thoughts to me than one single message.
I can’t leave things like that though, not in my writing – it’s too messy.
So here’s the spark notes version: ask yourself, now more than ever, “is it worth it”?
From the menial, to the meaningful, ask – “is it worth it”?
In this moment:
“Is Instagram worth my time?” “Is this person worth my attention?” “Is complaining worth my time?” “Is this relationship worth my attention?” “Is this job worth my time?” “Is this Netflix show worth my attention?”
I can go on and on – but you get the point, and I’m sure you know exactly what “things” can take the place of the “its” in: “is it worth it”.
So I say let’s work to protect the tools at our disposal, because like a compound interest effect, we eventually reap the results of where we invested our time and attention.
What kind of things do you do to ensure you’re persevering and protecting your time and attention? Feel free to leave a comment below!
I’m all about asking questions! For another post on questions we ought to ask ourselves check out: “3 Reasons Why You Should Question Your Views“