How many times have we told ourselves, or told our children, "You're wasting time"? Far too many times to count. And I suspect the more educated we are, or the more ambitious we are (for ourselves or our children), the more often we utter the phrase.
Lately, I've thought a lot about time wasting. After all, I've been on vacation, a time where we are supposed to "waste time," but be able to enjoy it without those nagging thoughts of things left to do when we get back home. I am never quite able to forget about what awaits me when I get back home.
I'm not the most productive person in the world, yet if I were to list what I have accomplished, I think I'd sit back and say to myself that I actually haven't done so badly with my time so far. Yet, as I sit and blog, or read fanfiction, or watch my kids make virtual monkeys jump on virtual trampolines, I think of time usage and feel guilty for our collective waste of it.
At the same time, I sometimes wonder if there's a hidden virtue to the time spent doing seemingly mindless things. The kid who spends HOURS a day shooting a basketball might just end up being good enough to play professionally; if nothing else, he's probably not obese. The kid who reads "too much" likely does pretty well in school. The kid who is so good at getting other kids to play a game together might do well in theater or organizing. Heck, even the kid who can talk endlessly on the phone or type 100s of texts on her cell phone per month might be learning skills that would serve her well in the business world. So, I try to take a proverbial chill pill (at least once a week, I'm still working up to daily) on what I perceive to be my kids' (and my) stupid uses of time.
I remember reading, some years ago, an article written by a TV writer about how she ended up working in television. The part I remember was actually about TV watching -- something parents everywhere nag their kids about and blather on endlessly to each other on their respective attempts to limit or eliminate altogether. Turns out, this VERY successful TV writer remembers completing some school assignment on TV watching and learning that she spent 35 hours PER WEEK watching TV as a kid. Wow. I've. Never. Even. Come. Close. Perhaps that's why I don't write for television now.
Just kidding. But the point here is that sometimes what strikes us as a waste of time ends up being later viewed as a good USE of time. At least, that's what I'm telling myself when I take time to write these blogs. I love writing them. But I don't know if it's "doing" anything more for me yet. I hope so. :)
- My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.