Friday, July 18, 2008

Slow Time or Go Time?

"We're busier than ever."

This was a line I heard a so-called expert espouse the other day. The subject matter was people's knowledge of issues in front of the November elections, and this guy blamed our general lack of knowledge on the fact that Americans are too busy. Here's a classic case of someone confusing the word "busy" with "lazy". I know, they have opposite meanings so confusing the two should be impossible but, alas, it won't be the last time this happens. People don't care about the issues. If I had a sure fire way to bring gas prices to $1 a gallon, they'd be swearing in President Kelly in January. That's really all that people care about nowadays

No way are we busier than ever . If we're busy, it's simply because we choose to be busy. You chose to have children? Well, that's gonna crank up the busy-meter. Went to Hawaii for vacation instead of the Comfort Inn in Lake Havasu? Well, that's gonna take longer to pay off, so I guess you'll have to "work harder" to do so. There's simply no way in this age of countless modern conveniences that we can honestly say that we're busier than ever. You don't have to hand wash the laundry in the backyard, or check a how-to book out of the library on how to fix your kitchen faucet. We don't even have to go to the video store anymore, and we all know how taxing that can be ("They're out of 'Innerspace'! Now what?"). We're losing the ability to enjoy doing nothing, and let me tell you: as a guy who has some spare time on his hands every day, sitting on your bum and catching a bad TV show isn't a bad way to go.

The busiest I ever was was back in my college days in Madison. That was some serious pressure. Four or five classes every semester, with reading and written assignments every day. In some cases, presentations to the class needed to be made. Visits to the professor's office to get some extra help weren't out of the question. My parents loaned me the money for school, so my main obligation was to do right by them. This was back in the mid to late 80's. Nowadays, one year at a trade school costs more than four years at a Big Ten school did back then. Anyway, not only did I have a huge class load, but I had to find time to drink and party like only Madisonians can. We had a reputation as the biggest partiers around to live up to and I wasn't going to be a slacker.

So think about it: Obligations to myself, my parents, my school, my state. All day, every day for four and a half years. That's getting busy. A full time job? Child's play by comparison. Again, if your dream is/was to have a big family, that's great. Just don't whine about how the kids are running you ragged. That's what kids have done since the beginning of time. I read that Cain and Abel were pains in the posterior until the Big G had a sit-down with them.

Time is easy to manage, or at least it should be. This is because we can control what happens in time. I chose to use this time to write. I may use the time later to go to the gym. Or clean the house. I don't know. My time is my time, and I get to decide what I want to do with it. Time, we can control. Time shouldn't have its way with us, it should be the other way around. If we want more time, we should take better care of ourselves. I'm veering into a George Carlin-esque kind of routine there, so out of respect for the dead, I'll stop (I had a whole thing set to go on "borrowed" time, which if you think about it is impossible).

Anyway, it's Friday, I'm waiting for Pumpkin to call (serious drama at work today), and I have the dishwasher to unload. I've heard from several people who are reading these little meanderings, and I sure appreciate the kind words. I'm glad you have time to read it. Time well spent, I hope.

No comments: