Do you know how long it takes you to do all the little things that you do through the course of a regular day? I think that most of us would probably be surprised at the time that can accumulate when we do incidental tasks. And the time that we spend on nothing activities while busy feeling harried and like we have no time to ourselves.
Back in my childhood my mom would have a habit of asking my dad to stop at the store – just for a minute – when we would be on our way home from a family activity. Groan. Mom would ‘run in’ and we would be trapped in the car waiting. If she ever really did come out with just the one thing that she originally went in for, I can’t recall. What I do remember would be the agonizing moment when she would come out with 2 or 3 bags of other things she realized we could use. She saw it as time saving, while we lost ages from our lives that we could never recover.
The TV is an old standby for unintended time commitments, and it has been joined by the internet. We never have to be alone with our own thoughts now, thanks to smart phones – but this also means that we might not ever be present in the moment with the person across from us at the table. But I digress.
I got the idea for this post when I had a run of mornings recently that the time on the car’s clock surprised me. I have a set time that I want to leave the bedroom, I thought I had hit that time but then somehow lost minutes between the bedroom and pulling the car out of the garage. What the?? In my thinking I left the bedroom, picked up my purse, put on my coat and went to the garage – about a minute of time. But, no, I was picking up and putting away things, looking for other things – eating bits of time here and there that I didn’t mean to do.
Famous words, “I’m just going to… before I do…”; suddenly that unintended time commitment, which was going to be a momentary distraction or a little filler, is something much larger. And dangerous.
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