Every once in a while you hear a song you haven't heard in awhile and it catches your attention. For me this week I keep singing along to 4 Minutes from Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and Timbaland. While the story behind the song focuses on a variety of things, including climate change, Madonna is quoted as saying on MTV news in 2008, "I don't think it's important to take it too literally. I think the song, more than anything, is about having a sense of urgency; about how we are you know, living on borrowed time..."
I think this song has been my earworm lately because I have been doing some work on - ironically - not overworking. We live in a society that greatly values overwork but not rest. So I started setting an alarm in the afternoon to take a break. I know this is a huge benefit - clears my mind, helps me focus, even improves my sleep at night. But whenever the alarm goes off, I have found myself thinking, "just a few more minutes." Two turns into 10, then 40, then I just end up skipping the break.
I've been asking myself now when the alarm hits and I want just a few more minutes - why? Sometimes I really do need just a few more minutes to finish something up and complete a task, therefore increasing the quality and time of my stepaway. Other times, I just am making excuses. The break doesn't feel important. What this has taught me is an awareness of my own bs and how important it is to be honest with myself about what I really want.
Let's get honest. The sense of urgency we carry - is it for the right things? Is it for the right reasons?
The tender truth is - if we knew our lives were running out, which is always is - where would we have really wanted to spend just a few more minutes?
In this hectic and holy season, ask yourself where you really want just a few more minutes - then tell yourself the truth. Know your priorities, and make them count.