It’s Sunday evening, and once again, the weekend is gone just as I got used to it being here.
I look forward to the weekends, just like all of the other adults out there. Most of them. Some of you are weird.
The weekends are a chance to do things I don’t normally do when responsibilities and duties take over my time; a relief from the ordinary structure of my work week.
The days of my week are planned out, and go by thusly:
-Monday: Well, here I go again.
-Tuesday: at least it’s not Monday
-Wednesday: Middle of the week, it’s downhill from here.
-Thursday: Almost Friday.
-Friday: will this day ever end?
Finally, Friday evening arrives, and I’m home once more, my favorite place in the world. I get to stay up a little later, sleep in a little later (if the cat allows), and spend my time how I want.
I do some house work Saturday mornings, so that my afternoons are free. I’ll play on my computer, watch a movie in the evening, go to bed early then stay up late reading news articles.
Sunday morning is when we get groceries, then I’ll play on my computer for awhile again, do some preparation for my lunches during the week, get together with friends in the evening to watch some tv or play board games, and then home to dread the coming of Monday morning once again.
I suppose it sounds tranquil.
A lot of my time, however, is spent thinking of all the things I should be doing, and how much time is spent not doing them – I should write more. My bookshelves need alphabetized. And dusted. So does my CD collection.
I still have some boxes that I haven’t unpacked, and we moved in almost four years ago. I haven’t shuffled them around recently to make it look like I’ve done something with them.
There’s a pile of papers in the corner that I’ve been meaning to sort through and file before the cat wees on them. I bought some painting supplies three years ago that I’ve been meaning to do something with.
And the weekend goes by so fast, doesn’t it?
There’s barely enough time to think about what I should be doing with the time there is, and each weekend goes by just a little more quickly. Which accumulates a little more the older I get, until it takes half the time to get through a weekend than it did just a decade ago!
Even the weekdays pass faster as well, which is somewhat frightening. The weekends I long for arrive just a little quicker as well, week in, year in, etc., etc.
It’s not going to slow down anytime soon, either, if experience is a reliable indicator (which it tends to be.)
The more I worry about how to make the best use of my time the more worried I get that I’m not using it right, and there’s something better I should be doing, and there’s so many better things I should be doing that I worry that one of them is more better than the rest and there’s too much better to choose from that I end up not choosing anything at all.
And the weekend is wasted again.
I need to be more cautious with my time, I suppose- learn to measure it in tangible results instead of the more nebulous- one book read, instead of x amount of hours in a computer game. One painting created, instead of x number of minutes spent thinking it looks awful.
(Not much I can do about x number of minutes spent in line at the grocery store. Annoyingly.)
I’ve heard time should be measured in moments, and experiences, and maybe a more accurate measure of time then is by the quality of those moments and experiences. While I do have enjoyable memories of time spent in fantastical computer environments, I also have enjoyable memories of petting the cats. And when I pet the cat, it’s a two-for-one special on memories for both of us, so I don’t mind at all considering it usually comes about while I’m on the computer and they’re interrupting me anyway.
I just want more time for the cats and the computers and the paintings and the books and the papers in the corner that now need thrown away. I’m trying to hold onto and spend wisely what no one before me has ever been able to do any better; it’s always finite.
It was easier when I was a kid. Time took so much longer then.
Maybe if I’d known what the trade off was, I wouldn’t have rushed to become an adult.
There’s a not a single person reading this who does not understand my concern, no matter how much better they are at spending their time than I am. I guess I don’t even think I’m necessarily misspending my time; I just want more to show for it.
I just want more. Who doesn’t?
There’s a saying: the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
20 years ago was the best time to start spending my time as wisely as possible.
The second best time is now.
So I’m going to end this column a little sooner than usual, and spend some extra time with the cats for a bit; their time is even more finite than my own..
Which doesn’t seem to bother them. Maybe we shouldn’t let it bother us so much, either.
Maybe worrying about it is the real waste of time, all along.