Wasting time

I’m watching the movie “Transformers” right now. What a waste of time! What a dumb movie! Yet here I am.

Why do I do this – watch things that I’m really not enjoying much? And, assuming I am not the only one, why do we do this? On the surface of it, I don’t want to go to bed, I don’t feel like reading, and there’s nothing else on that’s worth watching.

So I suppose that’s it. I’m bored and can’t think of anything else to do. But you’d think that, seeing this is not gripping or interesting, I would get bored with this and look for something else to do. I suppose it’s got to do with our need/desire to do something even if we’re doing nothing. Maybe we’re uncomfortable with silence.

I know I am. Unless I have something specific to think on or to enjoy (a view, or a thought) then silence feels like I’m wasting life. Life is to be used, not wasted. But here I am wasting time anyway by watching a movie that is adding nothing to my life! (in contrast to doing this blog instead – this enriching experience I have chosen to embark on).

Maybe we just need down time, and watching a crappy movie is down time (actually there are a few enjoyable bits – can you tell how old the target audience is?). I’m not thinking much, and doing something is better than doing nothing. But there you go again – doing something is better than doing nothing.

Is everyone so concerned about not wasting time? And am I really? Or do I just feel guilty about wasting time, rather than actually believing that I am? Coz let’s face it I do waste time – a lot. And I feel bad about it, but I still do it. At work, seeing I am my own boss, I use my time as I see fit, and because I am not flat there out I tend to continue to waste time. And believe me, I am not being hard on myself in saying this.

I’m not sure how many actually do waste time like I do. My wife doesn’t.

And the fact is I don’t hate what I am watching. Whereas in the past there have been times where, even though I really had nothing to do, I still couldn’t stomach watching a certain show, it was so bad. In this case the movie is dumb but not awful. Occasional bits and pieces break through and are amusing.

So what would I do if I turned it off? Go to bed, for one thing. Or work on this blog and try and make it work. I’m currently doing this in the ads –  (but later on I tidied it up – I hope its not so disjointed as it was!). Or find something else more worthy of my time.

That doesn’t mean that I think that time is so precious I can’t waste any of it. Or to put it another way, it’s not a waste to do nothing with some of my time. To point out the obvious, some of it might be needed just to veg and chill. Or other times where there’s nothing productive to be achieved, there’s no guilt in not utilising time more effectively. Time is not my master. I don’t live to make sure that things get done.

I know I’ve got a fair bit of time left. It’s okay not to use absolutely every second to the best of my ability. To do so would make life a burden, instead of freedom. I am free not to use time to the full, but am unwise to exercise that freedom too freely. Because time is still precious. Life is a gift. I won’t get this time again. I just won’t. So whilst I’m not a slave to it, it is not an endless commodity, and shouldn’t be needlessly spent.

There are whole cultures (so I’m led to believe) who take their time, aren’t bound by the clock. They have no concept of our Western slavery to time, they live in the moment. But am I living in the moment by watching this movie? Probably not. And what does it mean to live in the moment anyway? It’s hard to believe that for these other cultures every moment is filled with ‘living’. That sounds too tiring. Time passes – so what? That’s okay – that’s just part of living. Nothing urgent happens most of the time, so why make life so urgent by investing every second with so much significance?

I think too about when I do have a task to do – I am so focussed on the task that people become obstacles to my success if they don’t do what I want. That sounds so harsh and I wouldn’t have thought I would be like that, but I think it’s true. Hence I become abrupt and insensitive to others, or try too hard to be polite in order to get them onside, because success is so important. People end up feeling my ulterior motives and rightly aren’t so keen to do as I suggest, because they realise the end goal is more important to me than them, regardless of what I say or how to say it.

Wow, I’ve come a long way from talking about wasting time, to the issue how I use (or abuse) time. It still concerns me that I would watch a movie that I really don’t want to watch, but I’m also curious to ponder not trying to fill time with achievement. Be nice to find that balance.