My partner always puts cushions on the bed to decorate it when she leaves the bedroom. So, she sees the cushions on the bed for a brief moment in the morning before she leaves the room and a brief moment at night when she comes back to the room and removes them from the bed.
I often joke about the pointlessness of that. It’s a running joke with comedians too. The cliche of the girlfriend putting the cushions on the bed only to remove them and no one ever to see them.
I’ve realised something important about that though. They are seen, twice in the day, for only a brief moment, probably not even a minute.
The judgement is that all that time in between is wasted. The cushions sit there decorating the bed all day long and nobody sees them. The intent is lost, and the time wasted.
That point is only relevant if the intent of the exercise is time. It isn’t.
The intent is that instant before you leave the room and it looks nice, and that instant when you return to the room and it looks nice. All that time in between is relevant. It’s the feeling achieved in those two instants.
It makes me wonder how many other instances we devalue something based on a time cost rather than looking at the benefit independent of time.