Someone posted this quotation as a “gentle reminder” to their Facebook circle.
Before I was halfway through it, I was making the same unhappy noises the cat makes when I rub his fur backwards. When I finished, I sat and put my thoughts in order the way the cat runs off to a corner and grooms himself back into order after my rude assaults with the brush finally end.
Here are the thinks I thought:
First, I get excited thinking about the things I could do with all those sparkly seconds; toss them into the wind like soap bubbles, pour ’em onto the dry earth like ash, bury a few under rocks to startle insects when they go up in flames later, make a tower out of them…use them as wallpaper, wrap myself in them and make myself the Best I Can Be.
Then it starts to feel like an obligation, and all the sparkle disappears. Time will pass regardless of how I spend it. What’s the point in making the most of it? She who dies with the most toys and the perfect body and the hordes of admiring fans still dies alone at the appointed hour. Counting and measuring and squeezing the most from every second adds the friction of stress and unhappiness to time’s smooth passage. Who needs it?
I think I’ll achieve survival, strive for comfort, attempt generosity in all things, and let the rest of the seconds fly away. I’ll curl up in a comfy chair to read and share laughs and waste my time in happiness like a spendthrift grasshopper. Living in the moment means not worrying where those wasted seconds go.
Analogies and metaphors are my bread and butter, the cream in my tea and the sugar on my cereal (see what I’m doing there?) but some work better than others. Time as a bank of seconds…no. Time isn’t a commodity that can be traded or given to someone, and just as it cannot be stored, it cannot be wasted. All comparisons are imperfect. Some are more imperfect than others.
Have your time and eat it too. You can, you know.
2 responses to “On Wasting Time”
Thank you for this. These types of things always make me feel guilty, and guilt is one of the biggest time wasters out there. Why can't I sit, gazing out the window for hours? Why can't that be purposeful just as filling my life with active moments can be purposeful? It's always about one person's judgments placed on someone else when no one person ever can dictate what other people do because we're all different. Lovely, weird, and unusual.
Purpose is what we make of it, I totally agree. Perhaps we should establish a No-Guilt Time Zone.