I wish I had more time for… sewing. Reading. Listening to music. Exploring the world. There are a million things that I would love to fill my days with. You know how teenagers just want to sleep all the time? All that youth, vitality, strength and never-ending supply of braincells, but Don’t. Make. Me. Get. Up.? Yeah, me too. And then the old people who jump out of bed at 6am every day, just to embark upon the exact same routine that they completed yesterday, and the same routine they will repeat tomorrow?
Why are we so bad at using time?
Me, I’m somewhere in between. Firmly lodged in that indistinct limbo between becoming an adult and being an old person. If I stop and think for too long, I sense the impending doom of old age, but it hasn’t yet developed into full-fledged fear. I’m not stupid enough to think I can still run rampant through a bottle of tequila until 3am and that there will not be consequences. But I have Stuff I Want To Do! Things I Want To Accomplish! I have 156 unread novels on my shelf, 203 yards of bolt-fresh fabric to stitch together, and something close to 4508 albums that I haven’t had time to listen to in over three years.
Where does the time go?
What awful magic summons the Time Ogre, that drooling fiend who devours our minutes like succulent grapes from the vine? What black hole does the day disappear into? It’s not like I’m losing my days to Schadenfacebook (© The Hidden Brain, NPR), I mean, I’m on a social media diet, for chrissakes, I’m DOING STUFF. I am Productive. I work at a job. I earn money (sometimes). I have friends, and family, and some of them will tolerate my presence. I have hobbies. I fully intend to finish that meditation video class, and that Agile Scrum Tank tutorial. I have thirteen partially completed quilts in progress. I am writing a novel! I am eschewing email in favor of longhand correspondence! I am doing that Postcrossing thing. I’ve signed up for a four-day workshop in Napa. I’m doing a cross-country road trip.
I do not have time to waste.
But yet, I waste time. I must be wasting time, because I never have enough of it. I am like that lazy, recalcitrant, ungrateful wretch of a teenager, sleeping away the best years of her life. I am also like that tired, scared old lady who gets up every day to run a set pattern of activities because I want to stay alive a little longer, and if I’m moving, I’m alive. I am wondering if I am making the best use of my time while I am writing this. I am mentally reviewing my to-do list and counting the hours (minutes!) left in the day, and wondering what I can pack in before I pass out.
Why do we even have to sleep at all? (No! Sleep! Til Brooklyn!)
Why did I waste so much time in bed as a teenager?
When I get old, I will do different things, every single day.
[This piece of writing was inspired by a prompt from Writing Class Radio, which is a wonderful podcast that you should check out.]