— "Evaporated," Vanity Fair
Those who are putting in those last few hours at the job tell themselves that they don’t have time now, but after they have finally made partner, or finally saved another so many thousand dollars, then at last they will have the time, and they will take it.
Unfortunately, this is a very slippery slope to tread. There are some things that can only be done during a certain part of one’s life. You can only be a father or a mother to a young child while the child is young. Children soon enough grow away from their parents, and you can’t really tell an eighteen-year-old that at long last daddy is ready to play with him.
Another way to look at life is to look at it as a great shopping mall, not the usual kind, where goods are purchased with money, but one where such things as worldly success, love of music, enjoyment of painting, a six handicap golf game, a close relationship with your daughter, and many other similar things are also for sale. But the commodity with which they are purchased is not money but is time. And quite contrary to the way the capitalist system works with money and goods, every one of us is given exactly the same amount of time in each hour, in each day, and in each year. It is a limited amount, and it is impossible for anyone to be so rich in “time” that he can enjoy every single one of the things which time may buy.
So there is a choice to be made, just as in purchasing goods with money, although the choice in the one case is far less obvious than the choice in the other.