Monday, October 24, 2011

What to write...

PROMPT: Consider the following quote and react: "We cannot waste time. We can only waste ourselves. ~George M. Adams

I've been wasting myself for the last twenty minutes--which is why this quote gripped me. Upon finishing droves of chores--cleaning the bathroom, cooking dinner, grocery shopping and paying bills, I gazed at the clock. A healthy 11:12 p.m. glared back at me; dread ensued.

I enjoy writing; in fact, I love writing. I generally cherish this space in my day and I've committed to preserving it. Yet tonight, as I considered topics--all of which managed to produce disinterest--I turned around and salivated at the sight of my bed. I didn't like any of the prompts on my brainstormed prompt list, so I googled ideas. I looked up the meaning of my name, I looked at old assignments and I peered outside to see if any interesting people happened to be hovering outside my window.


I pulled up a list of quotes and I found four pages worth of inspiration. With the quarter ending and my pile of grading growing higher, all of them seemed to deserve more energy than I had to give--all of them except for the George Adams quote.

See, once I decided on my topic, I realized that I wasted 23 minutes coming up with an idea. Those 23 minutes could have been spent working on anything else. Searching for the perfect this, or the perfect that, I managed to squander 23 good minutes of my life.

Then I started to think about the notion of wasted time, and realized that in any particular situation I always have a choice. I have a choice to make the most of the seconds I get, or I have a choice to waste them. I have a choice to resist, or a choice to enlist. I have a choice to see the positive in my situation, or a choice to complain about it. After all, even if I am entirely disinterested in the present, my brain is always propped up on my shoulders, and it is more than capable of learning, of planning, of problem solving and of imaginative rendezvous. If I choose to be bored or annoyed or whiny, then I cannot blame my plight on anyone else.

And so, tonight I didn't waste 20 minutes of time, I suppose I wasted 20 minutes of myself. Tomorrow, I'll try to do better.

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