I’m hardly the first to suggest that time is money. But let me add a nuance: Time not only exacts a cost; it is also a currency in its own right. And just like the beloved green paper, I used to fritter it all away. There is always more. Or is there?

HIV marched—or shall I say sneaked?—into my life and punched me in the face. Suddenly, a seemingly plentiful trust fund of time no longer promised any dividends. What would I do? Time is not an account with overdraft protection. When the balance is zero, the account is closed.

Fortunately, for so many of us, the medicines began to arrive. Once again, there were deposits to balance the daily withdrawals. There was once again time to be spent freely as we chose.

This was when I decided to take a closer look. On my statement, I found so much more time than I thought I ever had. There was time to relax and sit with friends. There was time to stop and look at all of the little things I had never noticed before. There was even time to do all of those little things I had been meaning to do but had put aside.

As I sit beneath the tree in my yard and sip my tea, I can truly be thankful for what I have been given. HIV, in its own expensive way, has shown me what is most important in life and has unwittingly given me the courage to move forward. And those are, well, my two cents.