Posts Tagged ‘money time and energy


Among Old Friends

Lately I’ve noticed that I’m starting to spend less and less time with my friends. It’s not that I don’t miss them; it’s just that we do not seem to have matching free times anymore. Ah, time. In my past article Money, Time, and Energy, I mentioned that among people in the second stage in life (when you have the money and energy but not the time), “…time is the most precious commodity because it is the scarcest. Oftentimes we are much more willing to part with our money than to give of our time.”

But what I find rather disconcerting is that back when I was more than a decade younger, we were already busy with our jobs but still managed to get together about twice a week; now, we’d be lucky if we can share a drink once in two months. And we are just as busy with our jobs and businesses now. Well, we can consider the fact that most of my friends already have their own families, but I think for my part I no longer have that youthful energy I had in my twenties when I could go out at night, come home in the wee hours of the morning, and then work tirelessly and effectively the following day even without power naps. Then go out at night again, repeating the pattern for up to three consecutive nights at a time. Now…well let’s just say that now I have to schedule my night outs during weekends and holidays.

I miss my friends. I miss their individual virtues as well as their quirks. I miss the people who knew me when I was young. Most of all, I miss the warm company, that cozy feeling when one is among old friends.

I remember a line from a song about sunscreen:

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young.



(First published in May 2009)

I read an article about what true luxury means. It said that in Finland you won’t see a lot of expensive homes and most of the cars are ordinary. However, the Finns take regular vacations, some as long as five weeks, into their modest but well-maintained log cabins by the lake where they fish and cook and drink.

Ah, reminds of Money, Time, and Energy. People in other countries may have the money to easily own big houses and fast cars – even log cabins by the lake – but do they have the time to live in these houses or drive these cars to their cabins?

For me, true luxury entails a nice balance of money and time.


Quality vs. Quantity: Money, Time, and Energy Part Two

(First published in August 2008)

It is often said that when it comes to time, quality is more important than quantity. For such a long time that’s what I believed in, until a recent not-so-sober discussion with a friend over bottles of beer changed that.

We were talking about Time when he suddenly blurted out the question: Which is more important, quality or quantity? Naturally, I answered “quality”, but he said, “No. It’s quantity.”

By the way, we arrived at this topic because he was contemplating on whether or not to accept a high-paying job abroad that will take him away from his family for several months at a time and see them only once a year for about a month.

He explained that just having your kids see you everyday even without much bonding is more important than infrequent quality time with them. Somehow in my drunken stupor I got his point and added that if you bear a year of loneliness working abroad to earn big bucks and come home for a month of “quality time” – constant bonding with the family through picnics, movies, travel, and everyday gourmet food – that kind of bonding will be quite artificial. It is not hard to spend a lot of money and energy everyday if you only have to do it for a month. And in that month of sustained festive mood, you cannot really get to know your family and vise-versa because everybody is always “happy” and full of adrenaline. You cannot get know how they are when they are bored, angry, sad, or scared. You cannot get know the real them.

I believe it is the same with friends. When buddies from out of town come to Davao for a few days, we often skimp on sleep just to maximize the number of things to do and places to go, spending a lot every night and ending up very tired in the morning. But this is because we only have a limited time together, so it’s party everyday; if my guests will stay for a month, I don’t think I can sustain this lifestyle. Now I won’t argue if you call it quality time because it really is, but in the process I can know these friends only up to a certain degree because it is all good times. I may not be able to know the real them – when they are bored, angry, sad, or scared. Now I am not trying to trivialize my relationship with these friends from out of town because they are really very special to me. I only wish to be able to spend more time with them and bring our friendship to another level.

NOTE: This piece is not yet finished because I am not yet satisfied with what I have written, but it is now 1am and I am getting sleepy. I hope to wrap this up with a nice ending soon. In the meantime, care to share your ideas?


Money, Time, and Energy

(First published in July 2008)

It has been said that there are three stages in life: when you have time and energy but not the money; when you have money and energy but not the time; and when you have money and time but not the energy.

The first stage normally occurs from childhood until graduation. You are young and at the peak of health, and schooling takes only about half of your waking hours. But then, unless you’re a spoiled rich kid, you just depend on a meager allowance from your parents.

The second stage takes place from the moment you start working until you retire. You are still relatively young and strong and you have some money, but unless you have a very stable business that requires little supervision, you do not have much time because you spend most of you time making money.

The third stage is after retirement. If you did well in stage two, you have enough money and lots of time, but unless you have exceptional genes and lived a healthy lifestyle, you do not have much energy left.

Money, time, and energy. Man’s three basic resources. We make them, we use them. We take them, we give them. We save them, we waste them. We find them, we lose them. Their relative values change as we go through life’s stages. Suddenly one of them becomes all too precious while another diminishes in importance. And then we look back, second-guessing ourselves on the choices we made.

For most of us in the second stage, I guess time is the most precious commodity because it is the scarcest. Oftentimes we are much more willing to part with our money than to give of our time. I am sure you know some people who, when invited to a wedding, would rather give a huge gift check than spend a few hours attending the ceremony and reception, especially when they are not very close to the bride and groom. Maybe in those few hours they can make more than enough money to cover the check.

I also have this wealthy friend, a businessman in his early forties, who cannot go on much-needed vacations as often as he would like to not because he does not have the money but because he does not have the time. And during those rare occasions when he is “on vacation,” he still operates his business by cellphone. For this I do not envy his financial success.

The adage that time is money could not be more true. When traveling long distances on my personal time and choosing between a plane ride and taking the bus, I would compare the difference in fare costs with what I would normally earn in the duration of the longer travel option based on my computed daily/hourly pay. Obviously the longer the travel, the more days I will have to take off work. If the savings in fare is less than what I would earn in the period of the extra travel time, I would choose the faster albeit more expensive transport.

I could go on with many other examples but you get the idea. Time is money. But more than that, money lost can be regained, but not time. And it never ceases to surprise me how often people forget that. We tend to become simplistic in our quest for money that we forget the other commodities. And this is not because we are living in a third-world country, as we are no different from those living in the world’s richest nations when it comes to putting money ahead of time and our health.

Ah, health. People working their asses off only to end up spending their hard-earned money on bypasses and maintenance meds. And I would say that health is synonymous to energy.

When business associates and people outside my closest circle of friends invite me out for a drink, they often find me unavailable. This is because aside from the high cost  of liquor in a bar (when one needs at least ten drinks to be satisfied, it can get quite expensive), a night out takes a lot of my limited time and dwindling energy – I’m not twenty anymore and able to work effectively the following day with a hangover. So if I choose to spend a night out with you, sharing my money, time, and energy, you know that you are to me a very close friend – or a very important client. innerminds

Attempts at uncovering the underlying simplicity beneath apparently complex concepts as well as the core complexity within seemingly straightforward issues

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