I want to tell you something that you might not have heard for a while: You have every right to choose how you spend your time. 

Now, in our world full of constant pressures, isn’t that a nice thought?

If you need a few minutes to calm down from a little stress, this video should be useful to you.

Constant time pressures

It’s no secret that, especially as a society, we seem to want to pack as much into our days as possible. In fact, our culture seemingly expects us to. 

I know that I used to treat it like this.

At one point in my mid-20s, I was working 12 hours per day, six days a week. And with that schedule, I still fit in time to do things in my personal life. 

How? I gave up sleep. 

In order to actually enjoy my time ⏤ instead of cutting down on my activities ⏤ I cut down on things, like sleep, which I needed to have the energy to be present for those good moments.

Seneca on time

It wasn’t until I began seriously analyzing and thinking about an old letter written by the stoic Seneca that I started to see how ridiculous my actions were. 

“Nothing, Lucilius, is ours, except time,” Seneca (4 B.C. – 65 A.D.) wrote to a friend. “We were entrusted by nature with the ownership of this single thing, so fleeting and slippery that anyone who will can oust us from possession. 

“What fools these mortals be! They allow the cheapest and most useless things, which can easily be replaced, to be charged in the reckoning, after they have acquired them; but they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity, — time!”


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Don’t get so busy you forget to make a life

About a month into thinking nearly daily about this quote from Seneca, I’d get another push in the right direction of truly valuing my time.

One night when I worked in Indiana back in about 2015, I stopped at my usual gas station to get cigarettes on my way home around midnight. I had worked around 14 hours that day. 

As I’m standing there, the woman behind the counter ⏤ a very nice, middle-aged woman I often spoke to in the business ⏤ asked me how I was.

She also commented, in a mother’s tone, how tired I looked.

I don’t know what I mustered up in response with my sleep-deprived brain. But after I said what I did, she looked me in the eyes and said, “Don’t get too busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

And I never forgot those words, or the care with which she delivered them.


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Take your time

This is the point where I’m going to ask you two simple questions that I encourage you to think about today: Are you getting more joy from the practice of packing every moment with something or is it only leading you to enjoy everything less overall?

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Now, how can you change that?

Because you CAN change that. Again, you have every right to decide how you’d like to use your time. 

Do you want to use it rushing from one thing to another or do you want to spend it carefully with things and actually enjoying them?

Ignore societal pressures on your time

Our society will pressure you to do the former; however, I’m asking you, for your own physical and mental health, to do the latter. 

I also encourage you to see the true value of the time you either spend wisely or waste. 

Your time is one of the only things in this life that you truly, in no uncertain terms, cannot get back once it is spent. 

Spend your time doing things (outside of your responsibilities) that will fill you with the joy of remembrance later on, not the regret of time wasted.


There is Help

Vivent Health offers fentanyl test strips, so that users can determine the presence of fentanyl in other substances. For more information, call 262-657-6644.

Kenosha County Public Health also offers free training and supplies of Narcan, a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/KCNarcan or call 262-605-6741.

The Kenosha County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resource Center may be reached from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 262-764-8555

The Kenosha County Crisis Hotline operated is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, at 262-657-7188. Kenosha Human Development Services operates the hotline.


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As a result, please consider signing up for a one-time or recurring monthly donation to sustain our efforts at https://theuptownobserver.com/sponsor/.


Inside the Mind of Daniel Thompson (podcast)

Ep. 13: The problem of being overly positive Inside the Mind of Daniel Thompson

One of the biggest things that I think people just "all about that positive" don't understand is that, at its core, it's a clear sign of deflection, in my opinion.  In this episode, I explain my thought process behind that conclusion, toxic positivity and encourage you to embrace the positives and negatives of life.  — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/mind-of-daniel-thompson/support
  1. Ep. 13: The problem of being overly positive
  2. Ep. 12: 'Where have you been?'
  3. Ep. 11: 'Framing and Sobriety'
  4. Ep. 10: 'Loneliness is part of life.'
  5. Ep. 09: 'As long as my community is well fed'

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