Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I definitely have time for this

I'm going to complain about stuff people say; specifically, "I don't have time."

You hear these words all the time, "I don't have time for [fill in name of important activity]." This is often, but not always, used in the context of work, but in my view this has as little value there as anywhere else. Saying you don't have time = you don't want to do this, ever.

I think about the myriad of time-wasting, bullshit, no-value activities in which I engage on a daily basis. I visit my bookshelf refresh my memory as to why the House of Finwe was dispossessed in the First Age; suffice to say no lives hang on the answer to that question. I play Galactic Civilizations II, but no one besides me really cares if the Tavri Cooperative blunts the imperialistic tendencies of the Drengin Empire. I cruise the Web to find out which sitting presidents lost their own party's primary in their reelection bids, and that matters only if I plan to go back in time to vote for them. (OK, I admit that last one helped me win a game of Quizzo, but let's not confuse the issue.) And I'm hardly the only one who spends time on this kind of thing. So unless you work and live in the White House you have plenty of time to do the stuff you need to do, assuming you're willing to cut out the useless crap.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not proposing that we fill up our time to the limit with worthwhile activity; engaging in fluff is nice. I like fluff. Fluff relaxes me. Nor do I suggest that we take on every unpleasant chore asked of us. But let's be honest about it and drop the no-time-for-that excuse. When explaining why I am not doing something I just don't want to do (like, say, accumulating 16 more credits towards a master's degree) I'm trying to say, "I don't want to devote time to that." That kind of honesty also relaxes me.

By the way, I apply the same skepticism to "Life is too short for [insert undesirable concern]." Life is long; if you don't think so, try watching the remake of "Love Affair" with Warren Beatty and Annette Benning.

P.S. No need to point out the irony that I spent significant time composing this post. I get it.

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