Is it just me or is the word spare a bit of a misnomer? I was thinking about it and it’s one of those strange things that sure, at its inception is what it means but at one point it takes on a completely different title, taking the spotlight from the key players and it possesses the host entirely. Lost yet? If you weren’t, I’d be worried.
By definition spare means ‘additional to what is required for ordinary use’. Take the spare tire. You have four perfectly good ones working just fine for ya then one day, blammy, you need that spare to get yourself back on the road. What has been deemed extra or darn near useless is now the hero in this scenario for without him, your life would be on hold as you sit in your undriveable car bearing only three working tires. This means it’s the same as zero working ones. Something old, dusty and unneeded can, at the snap of my fingers, become the glue holding your life itself together. Makes me think.
A spare room is of course an extra room in your house that has no one sleeping in it at night. Might be made up for a one day guest visit, it may be for temporary storage or it may even be a makeshift music room for piano lessons or whatever. Bottom line is it is considered extra. So what if a friends husband is violent towards his wife and you take her in and she now resides in that room? Well, that unneeded, quiet room now becomes the hero, providing safe haven for a person that needs it the most. Or maybe a childs friend wants to have a sleepover? Not quite the hero on paper but to those little boys, something special is now allowed and what normally is an old, stand by has now taken centre stage.
This one isn’t a real thing, at least if you aren’t serving 10-20 years. Anyone who says “In my spare time I like to blah blah” needs a quick rabbit punch to the intestines if ya know what I mean. I draw zero parallels from this but I add it to remind us of it’s nonexistence. We all have 24 hours a day. The trick is to prioritize and fill up each day’s alloted time with the stuff you need and the stuff you want to be doing. There is no spare here.
This morning on the way to the hospital I saw a man begging for money at an intersection on MacLeod and his sign had 3 words: ‘Spare change please’. Those two words spawned this posting so my hats off to the homeless guy missing teeth. Similar to the notion of spare time, spare change isn’t really a thing, is it? Obviously we don’t pass around much cash these days so if we use a $20 to buy something and have $6 in change, to most people it’s still very usable and needed money, not disposable or extra. However, it’s slightly different than the time parallel because if we say toss that spare change in a pickle jar (you take the pickles and juice out first..) and repeatedly deposit said extra money, one day that becomes special. Something to save you on a broke day. Something to allow you that birthday gift for your friend that frankly this month you couldn’t afford.
The idea that we have a collection of spares or extras sitting around for our emergent use isn’t the full truth yet it also isn’t exactly bs. With most things, it’s in the eye of the beholder. But I want to stress the importance of one key element and it’s that a spare tire in a spare room will never be the hero it could be. Or similarly if you haven’t any spare change but need a spare tire, you’re fresh out of luck.
To be of use in the best place that you can be, you must be pre-positioning yourself right now. The tire is ready to get into the game because he’s travelled the same roads as the other three, hundreds of times, just as an observer. He’s made of the exact same material as the rest and he is next in line when something goes wrong and something always goes wrong.
Be educated. Be rested. Be ready. Be in and on your field. Be persistent. And when the time comes (which it will most certainly come) you will slide into it like well oiled machinery. And oh, will you shine!