In Lakoff’s Metaphors We Live By, you can read a lot more about “Time is Money” as an idiomatic metaphor that we all agree with. (You spend time, you budget time, you waste time…) We’ve heard it so pervasively, most of us don’t think about it.
Let me give you another spin on it: We made time an actual currency in our house.
We bought a few boxes of poker chips. The kind with blue, red and black clay chips that clink satisfyingly when you run a stack between your fingers. Based on the number of each color available, (there were 25 blue, 15 red and 10 black chips in each box) we assigned time-units to them. The blue are worth one minute, red are worth two, and black chips are worth five minutes each.
We can bet them (“I bet you three minutes you’re wrong!”). We can earn them, win them, and bribe with them. And we can call them in. The rules are that we can call them in on anything we want – whenever we want.
My husband has been known to save them up to make me watch television shows he likes. I have saved mine up to get him to help me with particularly horrible housework projects. Granted, I do call mine in on foot rubs more often than just about anything else.
In our house, time is it’s own separate currency. It started off as a game, now it’s a way of life.
The time that I spend on things has weight – like those heavy little poker chips. It should also have value. Because we spend our chips in minute intervals, I’m far more aware of things at that small a level. Right now I have 29 minutes’ worth of chips in my bank (I won an impressive hand of Skip-Bo to earn those!) That’s almost a half hour of my husband’s undivided attention. And you know how I feel about attention.
Consider cashing in on the ones you love.