Mar 17, 2010

Time: Planning a day, week, lifetime wisely

Nothing works out as planned. So many interrupted thoughts, too many glances at the computer and frequent unexpected events turn my day into one long string of one consistent regret. At the end of every evening I regret how I managed my time that day, It's a fairly negative way to fall asleep. I think of how I should have gone for a walk, I should have started dinner earlier. I should have sent that email.

I spend a considerable amount of time finding ways to save time, yet never really enjoying time. I often wonder if I gardened if I would value the time spent and hard work more than a fast, easy meal designed to give me more free time. How did our culture manage to become so obsessed with time savers? In the beginning it was because quite frankly, there weren't enough hours in the day. With the inventions like the ice box, washing machine and microwave, we have saved ourselves countless hours of labor in order to enjoy our clean clothes, cold beverages and meals more quickly. However, what is the point of saving time in our efforts if we aren't enjoying them?

Studies have shown that children who participate in gardening are more likely to genuinely enjoy the taste of vegetables. It's the things we labor over that bring up the most satisfaction. People who work hard for their money spend it wisely while lottery winners and gamblers go broke more often than the average wage earner.

Multitasking has it's benefits, but I am starting to see that doing two (or three) things at once is taking the fun, or what could be fun, out of the equation. I read an article recently that touched on the common error of eating during activities. Dieters were less like to feel full after a meal when the parts of their brains experience pleasure from eating are otherwise engaged in television, email, conversation or driving.

The hands free law passed recently and my husband got me a Bluetooth for Christmas and I am very grateful. However, I am making a conscious effort to cut down on my car phone conversations. When given the chance to find pleasure in driving (difficult in a minivan)I become one with the car, playing my music and enjoying me brief time alone. I'm starting to remind myself that just because the phone rings, doesn't mean I have to answer it.

I am also starting to take note of what I am doing with the time I save. The dishwasher is designed to save time, so what am I doing while my dishes wash themselves? Usually making attempts as=t being productive, but often only "looking productive". You can't bank time. I could save myself numerous hours by feeding my family TV dinners every night, but it isn't as though I can bundle those hours up into one long string of time off. If only it worked that way. The truth is, my time would be better spent caring for my family in a way that beings me pleasure. By involving them and bringing us closer together, I am saving time and enjoying productive activities that create a bond that TV dinners and get rich quick just can't replace.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Mother Time. Yes... we have to train ourselves to remember to breathe and enjoy our life...even if it's only for a few moments. Then we have to grow the moments.