Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wasting Time

So, no post last night.  I decided I was too tired.  Thought I would head over to GSN's website and play a quick game or two, then head to bed.  An hour and probably two dozen games later, I was suffering from a splitting headache and the realization that I could have spent all that time - when I was "too tired" - writing.  I would have gone to bed feeling a lot better.  Instead I went to bed feeling as if I had had too much to drink, and not in a good way. 

(It's Day 8, by the way.  I do enjoy a drink on the weekend.  But I'm counting to 30, as you may recall.)

I hate wasting time. As pathetically bucket-listy as it sounds, I think that as I grow older I realize that time is a precious commodity and should be spent wisely. Don't get me wrong: I'm not one of those "live like you're dying" people. If I found out that today was the last day of my life, I would probably say the hell with it and eat ice cream in front of the TV until I dropped off.  Believe me, I can derive a lot of satisfaction from just sitting on the couch and not feel as if I've wasted a second.  Sometimes.  Other times, I feel as if my entire day is draining away if I have to wait two minutes for my kid to get her butt in gear so we can run errands.  My entire life, if I'm having one of those angsty days.

Just as time itself is relative, so is the value of how we spend it.  Some people do things that I consider to be a huge waste of time.  Among those things I would count playing World of Warcraft, attending PTA meetings, and pursuing an MBA.  I'm not judging those activities or the people who enjoy them; I'm just saying that, if I'm lucky, I probably have about 1.2 billion minutes remaining in my life, give or take a million, and I don't care to apportion any of them to any of those things.  On the other hand, some of the activities I find most meaningful are likely considered colossal time-wasters by other people.  Like sewing.  Or praying.  Or blogging.  To each his own, and blessed are those who do what they enjoy.  Just don't make me scrapbook (in fact, don't even make me use that word as a verb).

But when I waste time, I feel tired and cranky.  I feel, well, wasted.  Like when I play dumb little video games that overstay their benefit to my brain by hours.  Or when I obsessively plan huge home renovations that I can't afford while putting off little projects that are both doable and necessary.  Or that time I spent my 30s waiting for the Fulfillment Fairy to come along and pay off my debts, finish my unfinished novel, and organize my closets.  That was a waste of time, let me tell you.

And the thing about wasting time is that it tends to snowball.  Once you've shown that you're willing to treat your time like a two-bit whore, it becomes easier to devalue more often.  You start to abuse your time in myriad ways: you procrastinate, you hesitate, you let your precious minutes and hours and years be taken hostage by people and endeavors that just don't matter.  And maybe you end up wishing you had done more for others, or maybe you wish you had done more for yourself, or maybe you just wish you had done more.  That's what I really hate about wasting time.  Regretting what I've done can be painful.  But regretting what I haven't done is a sucker-punch to the soul.

So I should have posted last night.  Not because I feel obligated to keep this blog current, or even because I think I would have written something brilliant (hasn't happened yet).  Just because it would have been time well spent.

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