Sunday, March 8, 2009

When It's Okay to Waste Time

Most of us are under a good deal of stress for one reason or another, and we all want to make good use of our time. We try to get the most out of it, and sometimes we try to squeeze too much in, adding to our stress. I've written about having to work around my MS fatigue and how valuable time is for me. Too valuable to be wasted. But sometimes we all need some diversion to keep us from pulling our hair out.

I am not talking about planned activities or taking a vacation from work. Yeah, the "vacation" that ends up being catching up on stuff around the house or a project from work that we brought along. I mean little everyday diversions. Maybe we spend half an hour doing a crossword or gabbing on the phone to a friend. Little diversions and time wasters, if used wisely, can be a good thing if it means we can get out from under what is bogging us down for a while.

The other day I spent about fifteen minutes watching some of my favorite commercials online, like the talking baby that buys stock online (he's just too cute) and the one where the guy is stuck in a hostel in Brussels with the 'techno twins' because he didn't get his friend's call on his cell.

Waste of time? Sure. Fun, though? You bet.

Okay, I know that's fifteen minutes I can't get back. I probably should have spent those minutes doing something more constructive. I am a grown-up, the time for such inane activities is over, right? Wrong.

Even as responsible adults we still need to goof off once in a while. We spend so much of our time with our nose to the grindstone at work and meeting all of our obligations at home and with the family. Just taking a few minutes a day and spending them on some mindless activity is not going to rob us of anything. The things on our to-do list will still get done; deadlines will still be met. (Spoken like a true procrastinator, I know.)

Still, taking some time to goof off can help keep our spirits up and keep us young. So crawl around on the floor with the kids or dangle a toy in front of the cat. You'll love spending the time together, they'll love the attention, and you'll get to take your mind off your troubles or whatever else is gnawing at you for a little while. That's not a bad deal.

Time wasted doing something that relieves our stress and makes our day a little brighter is time well spent.

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