Monday, August 2, 2010

Time Eaters

Of all my talents, I am most proficient at wasting time. If ever there was a transgression, wasting time is a big sin. In terms of crime, time wasting is an atrocity. In both lexicons, it's right up there with murder. Yes, it is, because no matter who we are or what we do, it's a limited resource. We only get so much, and in the grand scheme of things, what we get is negligible. No matter how rich we are, we can't buy more of it. There is no bartering. Years ago when a friend told me that her breast cancer had returned, she said, "I was hoping for a little more time. It looks as though that's not meant to be."

A little more time. So often we hear, "I wish I had more time in a day..." Another oft heard is, "Geez! Where has this month gone?!"

Just a minute ago I blinked, and suddenly my high school classmates aren't just parents, but they have grandkids. It feels like just last week that I was twenty years old and my 54 year old father had died. Yet, here I am, nearly 49 years old and living with a man who is the age my father was the last time I saw him.

Even so, I waste time. I waste lots of time. I can find a thousand mindless and meaningless ways to kill a day. I'm guilty. Mea maxima culpa.

There are lots of different terms for things that cause the fatuous wasting of time... Time Eaters, Time Munchers, Time Bandits, Soul Starvers. You get the idea. I'm afraid my Time Eaters have been getting quite fat lately. I haven't bothered to exert much control over them. Why? No idea really. Guilty. Just... guilty. Guilty enough that it's weighing on my conscience. Weighing on my conscience enough to the point that it's starting to annoy. Annoying me enough that I'm ready to do something about it.

It's time to kick some Time Eater ass. Time for a take down. I don't have enough time as it is, so why should I share so much of it with them? The best way for me to deal with the situation is to identify the culprits, and stand them in the public square, so to speak. So, allow me to introduce the two worst miscreants...

Culprit One: The Online Thief. This little bastard is a smooth talker. "Just check your email real quick," he says. "Look, you're making them all laugh, and that other bit is an interesting conversation. Don't log out of facebook just yet!" "Oh, why don't you just take a sec to google that and see what it's all about." "Look! Movie quotes... you love movie quotes!"

My counter attack is to do exactly what my mother used to do when we would whine for her attention. She flat out ignored us. Worked like a charm.

Culprit Two: The Sleep Pirate. This evil doer is a very slick trickster. He likes to make me think that because I'm staying up late, or getting up early, that I'm accomplishing more. However, the less I sleep, the more likely I am to spend an hour or two (at least) on either side of somnolence just wandering around trying to perk up. Not only that, lack of sleep leaves me in a torpor.

My counter attack is, simply, to set a goal. I need to give myself a deadline for going to bed and stick to it. Not only that, but if it's earlier than my deadline and I'm tired and yawning, I will go to sleep rather than fight it out.

Rehab is not an option for these two. They just need to be put away.

Oh, and just a little side note for all of us over achievers (yes, I'm one). Relaxation is not a waste of time. It's a necessity that centers us, gives us balance and focus.

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