More on wasting time

More on how we are hung up about time (or me, anyway)


I’ve just read back through my last blog. Seeing it was written during the ads on TV (okay, I did tidy it up afterward) it turned out better than I expected, and actually covered off on a few interesting points.

I think I’ll return to one of them. Am I a time waster? Yes. Is that bad? My hunch is yes, but maybe not as bad as I think. I AM driven and DO want to make my life meaningful. I’m guessing that my motivation is too strong, a little too desperate, but it can’t be totally wrong surely? I do only have one life, I will never have this time again, I do want to look back on my life and feel that I got something out out of it.

I should say right here that it doesn’t have to be a life full of achievement. Enjoyment is right up there, in my opinion. If I spent my life travelling to amazing locations, experiencing amazing things, I kind of think I’d feel that I had spent my time wisely. I remember as a teenager, in some quiz show a contestant was asked to choose what he would answer to the question “Looking back on your life what you prefer to be able to say?” One answer was how many people I’ve helped, one was how much money I made etc, and one was that “I had a blast – had a great life”. I chose that one. So I know I’m not some achievement driven neurotic – or at least not entirely.

But I am certainly task oriented. This weekend I recorded our band doing some originals, and yesterday I spent 2-3 hours mixing one of the tracks. I was initially happy with the mix, then played it again later and wasn’t happy with it, and got depressed. I kept telling myself this was meant to be enjoyable so don’t stress, but it didn’t help much. Then this morning I listened to it again before heading off to work, and with “fresh ears” I thought it was pretty good! And my whole demeanour changed. Clearly I still measure myself by my achievements or lack of.

So yes I am a time waster, and yes I am somewhat achievement driven, but no my guilt about wasting time is not purely about achievement.

Those Fiji islanders (or whatever nationality fits my following description) who chill about time certainly would not be stressing about wasting time. Why would that be? It would be great to ask them but they’re not here. So I have to imagine. That’s hard. Very hard. Okay, first of all they don’t don’t live in a sped up environment like ours. So they’re not missing out on something if they take their time (that’s a big thing for me – I don’t want to miss out).

Secondly, their world is more relational or so I’m led to believe. So spending time with people is perhaps enough to fill their life. That’s true for me in the special event categories (parties, weddings, guests over for dinner) but in the ordinary course of things, sitting around with a bunch of people (even just my family) is not enough. Having said that, if meaningful dialogue or enjoyable banter was going on I’d be happy. But just sitting around – that’s not a big ticket item for me. For the Islanders, maybe that’s enough (but that’s a huge guess there, because how can I know?)

So, in closing, back to me watching the dumb movie (ie my last blog). No-one else is there (Linda’s gone to bed), the movie isn’t riveting, I don’t know what I want to do (but I know I should turn the TV off and do my blog properly). So I do nothing. After all this, I’m not sure that I know why – I think for now I’ll just have to assume it was a mixture of laziness, boredom, a need to veg, and a vain hope that perhaps the movie wasn’t so bad after all and that is was worth watching really.

I’ve had fun musing over this, but not sure that I made things any clearer. Nevertheless, I have come to a (tentative) conclusion. So I wasted a few hours – lighten up.

Author: Terry Lewis

I'm a guy in his 50's who thought it might be fun to write about day to day issues - the stuff that life is made of. It's helped me think and develop some deeper perspectives. I enjoyed it so much I thought I might start posting it in a blog, and here we are! I intend to mix it up as much as I can. I am a thinking kind of guy so the majority of my posts will probably have some kernel of truth or (hopefully) wisdom nestled in there somewhere. But I also hope to have some light hearted posts as well. Too much thinking can make life pretty dull! Anyway, hope you like it.

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