The GuardianThe Guardian

I was cycling through friends like toilet paper when a colleague declared: ‘Spend quality time with quality people’

By Antoun Issa

04 Jan 2023 · 2 min read

A columnist for The Guardian shares how becoming more conscious about how they spend their time, and who they spend it with has positively benefited their life.

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Sometimes the most obvious tactics in life are only made clear when the words are spoken aloud by another. So when a middle-aged man, fresh from a divorce, declared to me in our shared office in Beirut, “I’m only going to spend quality time with quality people. No more killing time with anyone for the sake of it,” a flicker suddenly twitched in my naive mid-20s brain.

It hit me right at a point of growing unease with my social surroundings. I was, as we do in our youth, cycling through friends and acquaintances – often in hazy drunken settings – as rapidly as toilet paper.

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