Time is the real currency of my life!

I hope I’m not speaking too soon, but life has been very kind to me recently. I have found time, and stayed fit enough, to catch up with lots of people in the last few days. It seems that much as I decided that cancer was not going to dominate my life, it actually is, but in a different way to the one I had imagined!

When I was diagnosed, on that terrible day back in 2007, I was very determined not to let cancer dictate my life, and to be able to still choose what I do with it. I suppose at that time, I was getting a little ahead of myself, as there was no guarantee that I was going to live for very long at all. However, a few years on, and with treatments improving all the time, I am beginning to find myself with a reasonable quality of life.

It is ironic, that I have chosen to fill up my life with cancer content now. I draw comfort from the fact that it is all work that I can now choose, and involves meeting with lots of wonderful people, either patients or professionals. As I have mentioned frequently, people are my passion, and I am finding that my business background is helping incredibly with the things I do now.

A meeting with someone I had never previously met has prompted this post. They had been observing my work in social media for some time, and pointed out that I always took the trouble to thank people. My reason for this is that I know how busy everyone is, and if they take time to do something for me, I should show my appreciation. This person had come a long distance to meet me, so I thanked them too! It was then that I realised that I now value people, in terms of time, not money.

We all have a value to others, although sometimes we can’t see that. We feel that if we do things for no financial reward, that we have no personal worth. Actually, the truth is very different to that! In my business life, I got used to everything having a cost, therefore it was easy to place a value on something. The same in our personal lives, we tend to judge people by what they earn, as it is an easy comparison to use. But for me, the most valuable thing I have is time. My time is borrowed so I really do appreciate it’s value!

Given the fact that everyone is precious with their time, I can now ascertain my value in peoples lives, by how much time they give me. The same applies in reverse, by how much time I afford others. On this basis things start to look differently. I dare you to look at your social life in the same way!

I now realise, that one of the reason’s I struggled psychologically with the fact that I was unable to return to my old life, was the value that I placed on myself. I was earning very well, and was always busy, I felt I was worth something. But very quickly, as I got sicker and sicker, and further away from work, I began to feel worthless. Mostly because I was no longer able to earn money. I can certainly empathise with people who lose their job for any reason. It has taken me a long time to find my true value, which is not in financial terms!

As I have slowly come to terms with my current life, my value is becoming more obvious. My personal and business experience is now in demand, and people are arranging their schedules around my availability. I know the efforts I have to make, to talk with people, either face to face,or on the phone. My treatment etc takes a lot of time and physical effort, also, as my family is increasing, it becomes more difficult to fit things in but I will if I can, and I want to.

My personal cancer experience, has taught me the value of my own time. It has also made me appreciate, the value of other people’s too. We all choose how we use it, so I am very grateful when people decide to give me some of theirs! Whether it is by taking time to read this blog, share it with friends, or follow me on Twitter, thank you, because there is not much higher compliment you can pay someone than sparing time for them.

How do you value yourself? How do other people value you?

4 Comments

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  1. Hi, Chris, just read the latest blog how very true it is! Time IS the most valuable commodity we posess and it is the most difficult one to give away and to share. It’s so true that we have all tended to judge ourselves and others in terms of financial worth and how important a job they/we have. It’s only when you step outside the general “everyday” working environment (for whatever reason, be it ill health, retirement, or the need to provide care) that you begin to judge your own and other’s worth in proper terms. As in their generosity with time and how you and they feel in each other’s company. Roy and I thank our lucky stars all the time for the friends we have and now we truly value how important they are to us. Good job all of you hung around through the years when we were rushing around doing other things!

  2. Hi Sue

    Many thanks for your comments. I have only just realised that I had been valuing myself in the wrong currency! You are so right that you sometimes need to step outside of everyday life to see it.

    We also appreciate you guys and all our friends for being there for us through life’s ups and downs. We probably appreciate them more now!!

    So glad you’re enjoying the blog, and thanks for taking the time to comment! My best to you both, Chris

  3. Wow! A blog with a punch! You are absolutely right Chris. I too also learnt not to value myself through the job I did and feel valueless when I could no longer work. I now realise the important bits were all about the person I was and still am! All I needed to do (as you did) is find a way to use my skills differently …
    For me my currency is time + energy as I can’t use the one without the other. X

    • Thx Dawn! I try to write about subjects that you rarely see. Things that people are thinking about but don’t seem to enjoy talking about publicly. I felt there was no point in writing the blog, if I wasn’t honest about my own life. Hopefully people might think about things that are happening to them, and realise that they aren’t the only ones feeling as they do.

      Unfortunately when you are diagnosed, there is no rule book, letting you know how things are going to be. It takes a lot of learning in many cases. I’m pleased you have found your own value, which took me a very long time.

      Thanks for sharing your own experiences for the benefit of others. I’m learning a lot from you too! Chris x