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Got the t-shirt? Now go out and do stuff.

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You know the saying: “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.” Quite clever, whoever coined it. Bit of an annoying naff-orism now.
Sometimes though we need to do it the other way round. We need to live our T-shirts.
Let me explain.

I sometimes wear a T-shirt which says “TIME NOT CASH”. I like it.
T-shirts are a nice way of preaching, of pushing the dogma you have chosen to live by. It’s ramming your beliefs down people’s throats, but in a gentle, non-confrontational, stylish way.

“Money is not the most important thing in the world,” I am saying to the world. “But time is. Time is gold to me. Give me more time to do good stuff, to have fun, to laugh with friends, to read good books, to ride my bike. And, above all, do not waste my time doing unimportant stuff.”

But, in rare lucid moments of frustration, I realise that this is not what I’m actually doing with my life.

I am one of the too-few lucky people in the world who earns enough money to pay my taxes, buy enough food, and have a roof over my head. If you have seen me in my T-shirt you would therefore think I have everything I could want. And I do. So why then do I catch myself sitting through sunset after sunset at my desk, working, working, working to earn more and more money?

It is very easy to wear very idealistic T-shirts, to have wonderful statements of intent emblazoned across our hearts. But it is far more difficult to actually live by these mantras, to pursue an uncluttered life focused on the stuff that really counts.
So I’m going to finish this post now. I’m going to make myself a cup of tea. I’m going to go and sit outside under a tree and stare at the clouds for ten minutes. And if I catch myself fretting that that is ten minutes wasted, ten minutes of work down the drain, then I’m going to punch myself!

Time not cash. It’s not a t-shirt slogan. It’s a manifesto for life.

What does it say on your t-shirt?

This post originally was part of howies’ brainfood.

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Comments

  1. My t-shirt says “Free Range Human”, or sometimes “Best Day Ever” and occasionally “Get Excited and Make Things”. I too need to work a bit harder at making them true.

    Reply
  2. Gavin Davies Posted

    Ace post Al. I couldn’t agree more, my free time is worth way more than anyone could ever pay me. Very easy to don the tee but hard to live by what it states. I personally wouldn’t walk around wearing some slogan that didn’t fit with my ideals and values. So many people act as walking billboards, often oblivious to the fact that they are paying to promote that company. People should be aware of what this says about themselves and others. “Time Not Cash”, surely the best Howies tee ever? I need to find me one of those and gently preach to the masses like your good self!

    Reply
  3. Think less
    Live more

    Reply
  4. Raph Taylor Posted

    I got a “keep calm and cycle on” t-shirt, in the style of the “keep calm and carry on” slogan. Bought it round about the time I crashed off my bike, knackered my shoulder and was off riding for two months (ironically I was wearing a pair of “one less car” socks when I crashed!)

    Recently bought a new bike, and am now stressed about the lack of cash as a result of this.

    All I need to do is follow the t-shirt…

    Reply
  5. Good Point! I always feel like I am chasing to keep up. I think technology has a lot of answer for – there are always emails that need answering. I am here in my office at 7.30 on a beautiful morning trying to get a parenting magazine out when I should be with my children!

    I’m reading a very interesting book called Radical Homemakers – the author Shannon Hayes is interviewed in the next issue of JUNO. It’s about take a life decision to refocus on what is important in life – ie, step off the corporate treadmill, stop chasing material things that we don’t “need” and reclaim your home as the heart of your life.

    Reply
  6. “I cannot afford to waste my time making money.” ~Louis Agassiz

    Reply
  7. Mine say “Sausage King” (when I’m working) but I’m very down with the whole Time not Cash idea. It beautifully sums up how I feel about work against time with my children and family.

    Reply

 
 

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