“Reclaiming my time” has become a favorite phrase of mine lately. It accurately reflects my sentiment about a bit of what is going on in my life and a lot of what is happening in the world.
During a House Financial Services Committee hearing, an exchange between Representative Maxine Waters and Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin garnered a great deal of attention.
Waters, as the ranking member on the committee, was the first to direct a question to Mnuchin. The question was in regards to a letter sent to him and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network about the financial connections between our current president and Russian banks.
Mnuchin began by reading a written statement that was prefaced with a series of complimentary formalities toward Waters.
Waters interrupted him saying, “Reclaiming my time.” a phrase rooted in house floor procedure.
Each representative is allowed their limitedamount of time to use as they chose for verbatim exchange with the individual before the committee. It is known as the “Five Minute Rule.” That time is the committee members, and it is their discretion to use it as they see as most productive.
By reclaiming time, it allows them to prolong their time.She thanked Mnuchin for the compliment but stated she did not want her time used on compliments on her. She again requested he answer her question, and repeated it.
Mnuchin stated he was going to answer the question. Eventually. After he read his prepared statement and attempted to run out the clock while doing it.
Mnuchin dodged. Waters rebuked, reclaiming her time. It ended with Mnuchin basically stone-walling Waters and not answering to a full extent her question directly.
This exchange, much like “Nevertheless, she persisted,” has become a rallying call for many across our nation. For women, minorities, and like myself this morning, for basically anyone who has run out of time to waste or fucks to give.
In many ways, unbeknownst to Waters, she triggered something much deeper than a political awakening. It has become a sentiment of empowerment. A statement of reclaiming your time in all manners of speaking.
The phrase has inspired a wave across the nation. There is now a gospel song and a DJ remix song with its name sake. Waters, for her part, is a bit surprised. She stated that what she did was simply “course-correction” procedure for committee hearings.
A call to reclaim my time has inspired a reflection of self. It might be how you have been spending your time. It very possibly could be what you are not doing that you have wanted to do. It may be the redefining and coming to peace with your past. That too is a way of reclaiming your time.
Today I am thankful
- I am so grateful for the role models in my life. Those here and those who have gone before me. I value all my life lessons that were learned from them.
- My best friend. Last night I looked across that room at her and thought “I am so blessed to have you in my life.”
- A busy day today with a too long “To-Do” list.
- It is going to rain today. I am alright with that. I am looking forward to the clean smell after.
And most powerfully, it speaks to how we allow ourselves to be treated. How we allow our time to be used by others. It helps me put into perspective and respect how those I love in my life use their time.
It speaks to all manners of boundaries and discipline.
I am reclaiming my time.
affectionately yours, Laura