Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? I sure as hell haven’t.

I am the ultimate last-minute shopper. It’s not only because I have mastered the art of procrastination. It’s also because I am terrible at keeping presents a secret.

I get so excited that I spoil it before the occasion even arrives. I even had to propose to my wife a couple hours after buying the engagement ring because if I hadn’t, I would’ve given away the secret before I even had the chance to propose.

There is a gift, however, that I’m not so great at giving. It’s also the most valuable gift any of us can give because it is our most limited resource, and also one that cannot be taken back or replenished. I’m not talking about Supreme or whatever other passing fad just hit the market. No, I’m referring to our time.

I value my time, and the older I get, the less of it I have, so every day I value it a little more. Wasting that time is one of my greatest fears, and the realization that my time is not only limited but also that I really have no idea when my time is going to run out, has caused me to hoard that time for myself and only gift it out to a very few select people, and only in small increments.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized that by hoarding my time, I was in fact wasting it. In my younger years, when I had what seemed to be an endless supply, I gave it freely to anyone that cared to take it. Sometimes that time was wasted, but I felt like I had so much of it that it didn’t matter. But I was happier, and I feel like maybe I made others happier too.

I don’t want to hoard my time anymore. The time I have left, whatever that may be, I would like to give to others. Sure, my writing is a start. It takes a lot of time and I do it hoping that it will inspire and encourage, but I really want to utilize that time to hopefully make others’ lives just a little better.

This holiday season I’ll be giving the gift of my time. (See, I told you. I can’t keep gifts a secret.) I believe that if we all do the same, we will not only make our community a better place, but we just might help make the world a better place too.

If you want some useful ideas on how to give that time to something that really matters, send me an email. We can figure it out together.

(The Wright Idea is a monthly column created by Nogales author Joe Wright in honor of his father’s long-time NI column, The Wright Stuff. Contact him at josephw575@gmail.com.)

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