A Bank Called Time

Gomery Overbove talks about his dislike for the phrase "killing time" in "Redwoodian."

When I started writing Wilfair, I wanted a character who stayed fairly focused on the now, on what mattered, and didn't fritter away the day. That played out through Gomery, though Fair Finley gains a touch of nowness to her, too, with her wish to plug into the socket of the world.

Gomery was my choice, though, because he spends a lot of his time working at the Motel Fairwil. So his hours away from the front desk make for precious stuff.

These are distracting times in which we exist, though I sense they've always been. But every one of our hourglasses runneth, which is not a depressing thought at all: We have hourglasses, which is amazing, and a gift.

I read the phrase "a bank called Time" on Marc and Angel Hack Life this morning and it stuck with me (full passage below). I love having so much in my bank each morning when I rise, and while much of my currency is pre-spent -- errands, appointments, must-dos -- I get excited over my spending money, those hours in which I can write or read or visit with a friend or dance or blog right here.

Writing Wilfair was a big investment of my time, but one that has paid off in some very, very unexpected, joyful, heart-growing ways. And big investments should last a lifetime, and I know Wilfair, and its magical dividends, will.

But a secret: I take my little time investments just as seriously. Gomery Overbove knows what this about. Of all the characters in the books, I think I'm the most like Monty, but Gomery and I very much align on the topic of loving, not killing, time.


You are the customer of a bank called Time.  Every morning it credits you with eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds.  Every night it writes off, as a loss, whatever remainder you have failed to invest to good purpose.  It carries over no balance.  It allows no overdraft.

Each day it opens a new account for you with the same deposit of eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds.  Each night it burns the remains of the day.

If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.  There is no going back.  There is no drawing against the tomorrow.  You must live in the present on today’s deposits only.  Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success.

You’re making withdrawals right this second.  The only question is: Are you making them count?




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