Throughout my life, I have been giving my time up like charity. You need me to come in and work an extra shift? Not a problem. You need someone to put the project together for class? I’m in. You need help with your article? I’m on it.
Doing this gave me some great opportunities. I met a lot of cool people, had a lot of great experiences, did a lot of neat stuff. But the thing is… I never enjoyed it. I never took it in, appreciated it, breathed it. I never had the time to.
In Italy, you don’t do this. If you’re going to dinner, you’re not going to be on your iPhone doing work when you’re supposed to be chatting- and not catching up, either, because you don’t need to catch up if you had the time to be already caught up in the first place. Everything you do, you do it because you enjoy it, because time is of the essence, but in a slightly different way.
In America, we do use our time wisely, always; if we at stopped at a traffic light, we’re emailing. If we’re waiting in a restaurant, we’re making a phone call. If we’re at our shitty part-time jobs, we’re doing homework.
In Italy, the Italians also use their time wisely; in the fact that if they’re going to do something, they’re going to do it. If someone is cooking your meal, it’s not going to half-assed and rushed, it’s going to be beautiful and perfect. If someone is going to talk with you, they’re gonna talk with you, not shove you out of the room because they have another meeting like right now.
Now it may just be senioritis, but this year, I use my time… for myself. Instead of blindly giving it away, I think about what else I could be doing that will make me happy. I don’t want to rush anymore. I don’t want to look at my days and think Yeah, I made it through. I want to look back on my days and say it was a great day not just because it was productive, but because it was fun.
In America, we are looked at as the worker-bee nation, which has made us into a superpower… but has also made us super worked. For the first time, I’m wondering how great of a thing this actually is.