Several weeks ago (idk how long but it was snowing out) late on a Sunday night I decided to take a train to a bus to get home. I hadn’t taken that particular route home before so I ended up waiting at a bus stop on a strange, dark corner of Brooklyn in the snow with water starting to seep into my shoes and at the neck of my coat.
Because it was a Sunday night all of the trains and buses were late and already I had been traveling for almost an hour and I wasn’t even close to home yet. So I was getting pretty annoyed and I was thinking mostly about all of the things I could be doing with that extra hour of time which was mostly sleeping, but also eating, working, or cleaning the kitchen. And I should have taken a car home. Because, well, time is money and especially lately I’ve been feeling like every single bit of it needs to be protected like it is a weak helpless baby.
Well, the bus finally came. There were only three other people on it. I sat towards the front and watched through the big front windows. It had its windshield wipers on and it moved slowly through unplowed streets. I saw two teenaged boys throwing snowballs at each other and one yelped and it made me smile.
Is a surprise smile worth one hour of lost sleep? Maybe it is worth half an hour of work at 20/hour or less. Was it worth me not taking a car home just to see the snowball fight? Was it worth it because I am now making it into a blog post?
But, there was a phrase rolling around in my head that night, on the train and then at the bus stop and then on the bus. My yoga teacher had been saying it often and it is: no effort, no matter how big or how small, is ever wasted. And it made me think that really it’s not about awarding value to time spent but rather just deciding. Just deciding, maybe this isn’t a bad place to be actually. This bus stop in the snow. And maybe deciding that nothing is ever in vain. Is it possible? That maybe nothing we do is ever in vain?