Sunday, December 4, 2011

Time, Time, Time

I am a time-waster. I admit it. I can sit down at the computer to check e-mail and 30 minutes later, after several games of Free Cell, finally get around to the task at hand. I can always find something to do to keep from doing what needs to be done. There's another word for that. Now what is it? Hmm?

It doesn't help matters that I have a somewhat "addictive" personality [did I mention Free Cell] and the things I find myself addicted to are those time-wasters like crossword puzzles and before that sudoku; Twitter and before that Facebook; and my newest on-line addiction, "Pinterest" - oh my, so many things to see and do there!

My DH can tell you about all of the hobbies I've been "addicted" to over the years:  cross-stitching, smocking, knitting, wreath-making, sewing, photography, and worst of all, shopping [not technically a hobby huh?] I have closets full of the remnants of those former "hobbies." My latest hobby is card-making. It's all the rage, and if you don't believe me, check out Pinterest. I can tell you that I have made all of our Christmas cards this year. I also make birthday cards, Thanksgiving cards, etc.

The best thing I can say about all these hobbies is that they are an outlet for my creativity. There is definitely satisfaction in that. And many of my hobbies have led to hand-made gifts which have saved money over the years - not sure how the math works out though when you take into account the money spent on materials, etc. Let's just say that the people at Michael's and Hobby Lobby know my name!

The worst thing I can say about these hobbies is that they give me an excuse to not do the things that need to be done, or the things that would be more edifying. For example, I don't read books as much as I did at one time. I miss that. I don't cook as much. The DH misses that! My Mother would say, "Why can't you be addicted to something like house-cleaning?"

Oh yes. Now I remember that other word. I believe it is procrastination which in psychology "refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time." (Wikipedia) Now there are a whole lot more psychological definitions of, justifications for and baggage resulting from procrastination, but we don't need to get into that.

The funny thing is that the older I get, the more I think about time itself. How precious it is, how finite and how fleeting and how much I want, no, need to be a good steward of the time I have remaining. And of course as my obsession with obituaries shows [see earlier post] I am keenly aware of  how uncertain the future is. So you'd think that I would not allow myself to waste any time, right? Well, it turns out that there is a physiological reason for my addiction to the Internet, et. al. Via a great article on this topic by Betty Duffy I read about a book by David J. Linden called The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good. Linden and Duffy do a much better job of writing about this important topic than I ever could. I especially liked what Duffy had to say about the spiritual aspect of focusing on external stimuli for pleasure. She actually makes the point that the absence of pleasure, or suffering if you will, has merit and benefit to our lives and that our very survival depends on it!  Go read her article and let me know what you think.

In the meantime I'll just be right here playing a game of Free Cell.....     

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