Ask pretty much anyone how they are and the response is, "busy." Frequently, quips are made about needing extra hours in our day, or days in our week. The world abounds with tips on how to make more use of the time we have, how to manage our time better and how to get more done. Thinking in terms of a 168 hour week will help, apparently. I like the idea of looking at my week as a whole, and looking at what I achieve over this time period rather than the smaller and more variable chunks of days. But it does have to be accepted that there is a finite amount of time in a week, in a year, in our lives, and we do actually need to sleep! On the blog that accompanies "168 Hours - You have more time than you think" the author suggests 10 ways to claw back the hour lost to the recent US change in the clocks. I guess these could be applied to any week as ways to gain more time.
However, I was uninspired. As I look down the list, I laugh out loud at the idea of spending less time on my "personal care routine" (point 8) - any less time spent and I would be smelly and unhygenic! Similarly, I would be hard pushed to lower my housekeeping standards (point 5) without actually being able to grow fruit and veg in my carpet and we eat leftovers plenty (point 3). I have to cook sometimes otherwise there would be nothing to be left over. Things do have home in my house, but much time is taken reminding the other members of my family to put things back. And I do work from home so my only commute is from bedroom to kitchen.
Every list I see of tips to save time suggests watching less tv and I am tempted to agree. I do not imagine at the end of my life wishing that I had watched more American sit-coms, but there are hours, evenings, when I am really too tired to do much else. I would love to read worthy literature, hold erudite conversations with my husband, paint a masterpiece or even complete a jigsaw, but I'm wiped out and want to lie on the sofa, cuddle my dog and watch old episodes of "Frasier". I don't think we can make every hour count, fill each moment with something useful. I think we all need some time to just be, not in a deeply spiritual and meditative sense, but in a drifting along and feeling dozy kind of way. Otherwise we'd just be busy or asleep. And maybe these moments are valuable, these 'wasted' moments reading a friend's blog, texting a silly message, sipping a coffee, tickling a puppy's tummy. For it is in these moments that we are reminded that "our worth is not the same as our usefulness." (Nouwen)