During my undergraduate days, I wasn’t a very good economics student. I took two classes only because they were required, and I think I got a C in both classes. In retrospect, the grades were probably given out of pity. I vaguely remember something called marginal propensity to consume and a bit more about the idea of unlimited wants and limited resources. And to agree with the Rolling Stones, You Can’t Always Get What You Want.
So I find myself now at a stage of life where I can no longer say I’m in mid-life. Were that to be an honest statement, I would have to assume I’m going to live 142 years. Even in my best days, I find that highly doubtful. So it’s safe to say if I’m considering time as a resource, then it’s certainly getting to more and more a limited resource.
So how do I face the undeniable fact that the clock is ticking and it can’t be unplugged? I wake up early (Too damned early) and I start the day in the same way I started it yesterday, the day before, blah blah, blah. I pee, I let my dogs out to pee, I make coffee and I grab my i-pad. Check the weather, check USA Today online, check my e-mail, check Facebook, and then spend 30 or 40 minutes playing Words With Friends. I drink two cups of coffee during this ritual and then take off my robe, put on clothes and go have two more cups of coffee at the local coffee shop.
I often say to people, I have only two commitments in my week. I volunteer once a week and I go to my writers group once a week. 168 hours a week and I’m only responsible for 9 or 10 of those hours.
I’m reminded of something I read some time back. It went something like this, “I want to be a writer, I just don’t like to write.” And so I think to myself something in the same manner. I want to be thinner, I just don’t want to eat less. I’d like to be a runner, but I don’t like to run. I’d like to be a painter, I just don’t like to paint. And so at night when I first go to bed, I think, what did I do today? What did I accomplish? How did I spend my time? The answer usually screams back at me. “NOTHING!” That voice isn’t exactly honest, I shop, I sometimes take a walk, wash the dishes. You know real exciting stuff.
So to the end of this whining, What prevents me from taking some of my free time (No, I’m aware it’s a resource, it’s not free) to pause, to consider what I want to do, what would make my life more joyful, content, productive? And if I get some answers, what stops me from spending my time doing those things. Yes, I’m aware that Haagen Dazs Butter Pecan ice cream is more addictive than cocaine, and that’s part of the reason I buy large shirts instead of mediums. I don’t expect any real answers to these questions, they will probably be with me until that last day. The good news is, I have one more thing to add to my morning routine. Waste 10 minutes thinking about not wasting any more of that precious resource called time. The reality most likely is, I’d like to not be a time waster, I just don’t want to stop wasting time.
I’d add a clever quote about wasting time by some famous person, but right now I’m off to go check my e-mail, my Facebook account and to have another cup of coffee.
Go well, David