Saturday, May 19, 2018

Time we'll never get back

We hear all the time that we spend a third of our lives sleeping. What about other precious time?

How much time that we’ll never get back do we spend…

Idling at intersections?

Waiting in doctors’ waiting rooms?

Trying on clothes we don’t wear?

Going through TSA inspections?

Re-reading paragraphs of books we’ve already read?

Talking to phone solicitors?

Sitting through commercials before movies start?

Waiting on the line for tech support?

Waiting in line at Starbucks?

Sitting on tarmacs?

Watching the little spinning beach ball?

Waiting for rock concerts to begin?

Channel surfing?

Reading bad jokes people email us?

Sending bad jokes to others?

Wrapping presents?

Stuck in traffic?

Playing Angry Birds?

Watching bad movies because we paid to see them?

Standing at bus stops?

Scrolling through Facebook postings of your friends’ adorable pets?

Reading this blog?


tavm said...

Reading each and everything about Donald Trump?

Anonymous said...

Please! When was the last time Ken Levine stood at a bus stop?


Janet Ybarra said...

Ken, you touch on a very important point. We can go through too much of our lives on "auto pilot," not really experiencing it moment to moment. We get too caught up in the the random thoughts and internal chatter we all have.

We need to make an effort to be present for whatever it is we are doing or experiencing at any given time. As the famous Vietnamese monk Thich That Hanh teaches, do you want to wash the dishes to get clean dishes or to wash the dishes. In other words, actually experience washing the dishes, feel the suds, etc.

That is just one example, but if we slow down a bit, become more aware of our breathing and our experience, our lives won't just rush by in quite a blur.

E. Yarber said...

Maybe people need lots of filler. I have to endure my neighbors loudly spending 45 minutes or more outside my window trying to decide whether to go to Starbucks or The Coffee Bean, and it seems like every time I go to someone's home they want to spend the evening watching reality television (which I suspect is a way of ensuring I don't try for a return visit).

If anything, I possibly overload my time. Last night, like practically every night, was a damn movie marathon. I started with an episode of Car 54, went to a documentary on John Cassavetes followed by Seijun Suzuki's Branded to Kill, then wound up the evening with Border Patrol, a 1943 Hopalong Cassidy movie that seemed like ten types of awesome: written by Michael Wilson (Lawrence of Arabia), photographed by Russell Harlan (To Kill a Mockingbird), with John Ford regular Russell Simpson (Pa Joad) as the villain, Claudia Drake (Tom Neal's girlfriend in Detour) as the female lead, and featured roles by George Reeves, Duncan Renaldo and Robert Mitchum.

I then went to sleep, dreaming I was in a library. Woke up at dawn, passed the thousand page mark of The Complete Works of Primo Levi over a bagel with coffee, and took out the garbage listening to Marcella Riordan performing Molly Bloom's soliloquy from Ulysses.

I live in a constant stream of fascinating material, yet if I leave this bubble I find myself hopelessly out of synch with people who spent their morning waiting in line. There's no solution to this situation. Enjoy life in the spaces, those of you who can.

By Ken Levine said...

To answer your snide question -30-: the last time I was in New York, so March.

Steve S said...

Doctors are now aware of the waiting room complaint, so they tease you by calling you back to an examination room shortly after your arrival, only to wait longer than you ever did in the waiting room. So now you can waste time playing angry birds on an uncomfortable, paper covered bed-table or, if you're lucky, read about Dave Barry's colonoscopy. Reading material in the examination room is a dead giveaway that you will reach the daily maximum fee in the medical building parking structure.

Janet Ybarra said...

Ken, would love to read your commentary about the royal wedding. Since we now have a new American princess, would love to have her reunite us with the mother country since their government would be so preferable to the one we are currently stuck with.

Filippo said...

There is such a thing as wasted time, which is time spent doing things we should not do.

First of all one needs to establish what one should do. Letʼs assume the primary thing is work.
Whenever one is doing something else instead of work, one is wasting time.

But what do you do when you finish work? I believe there is such a thing as too much working. One should work the right amount, and dedicate the rest of time and energies to secondary, tertiary etc. things.
If one has finished work and dedicates time to secondary, tertiary etc. things, one is not wasting time.

How does one establish what secondary, tertiary, etc. things one should do are? Good luck with that.

Anyway, itʼs a matter of cases.
If one has to wait for a bus, if thatʼs the only way one has to go to work, I say that is not wasted time.
If one is waiting in line to go to a concert, and that concert is the leisure time one concedes oneself after work, the deserved rest that one needs in order to go back to work, I say that time is not wasted time.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

a) I do very few of the things on Ken's list. b) I always have with me stuff to read. On line waiting for immigration or TSA, I read The New Yorker. I don't wait for things. I read, and then something interrupts me.


tb said...

waiting for someone to find the picture on their phone they want to show me

Janet Ybarra said...

@Filipo, the idea,. I think, is to be fully conscious of what you want to do and what you are doing. Whatever it is you doing right at this moment is the most important thing, after all.

Liggie said...

Re: Angry Birds, my brother says, "When those pigs start laughing at you ... it's personal."

BTW, have you seen the Angry Birds cartoons that cone with the app? Reminiscent of the Chuck Jones and Road Runner / Coyote cartoons.

Patrick Wahl said...

It occurred to me not too long ago that I have read thousands of box scores, both baseball and NBA, and I've remembered probably none of them. So a little moment of entertainment, but it fades quickly, not sure if that's time wasted or just how we spend our time.

Steve Bailey said...

I work at a social media job, and nearly every day, we have some kind of system snafu that either slows us down or kicks up off the system entirely. A co-worker and I frequently moan that if we had all the time back that our system has cost us, we'd be six months ahead on our work.

Mike Bloodworth said...

Yes, there is a blog I read every day that takes up a lot of my time. (We won't mention any names) Of course, it depends on how many people comment. It also adds time if I have to research something before I post my own comment. Plus, my thumbs are so fat that its extremely difficult to type on my phone keyboard. Sometimes I learn something. Sometimes I'm entertained. And sometimes I get so pissed-off that I just want to scream. I don't consider it a WASTE of time, but its time I could be doing something else, like self-abuse.

Dr Loser said...

One more way to waste ten minutes of your life: read about the baseball career of Sam Malone.

I'm torn. It's a completely pointless activity, and yet there is a certain beauty in it.

ODJennings said...

Watching Royal Weddings

Tom Galloway said...

Janet, there is the theory that the Brits are playing the long game with this wedding. Harry and Meghan's children will just happen to be born in the US, giving them citizenship. One of their kids, on reaching age 35, will run for, and win, the Presidency. At which point, whoever's left of Elizabeth, Charles, William, and William's kids all abdicate, thus combining the throne with the U.S. Presidency and Britain reabsorbs us.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Reading this blog?

The answer to that question is: Not enough.

Johnny Walker said...

I don’t know if many people here meditate, but it’s so easy to convince yourself that you don’t have 10 mind to spare, and then immediately spend 20 on Facebook.

We waste so much time without even thinking about it!

(I saw down to meditate about 30 mins ago. Sigh.)

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Mike Bloodworth: George Bernard Shaw's The Apple Cart has that covered.


Unknown said...

Instead of doing what? Waiting for a bus? What a waste, you could have been curing cancer. Stuck in traffic? So much for you solving world peace. Waiting in line for coffee? How rude others are in front of you preventing you from getting coffee quickly, they will suffer when you don't solve string theory.