Time, Time, Time, See What’s Become Of Me

Remember back in the day when computers were brought to the desktop of every office worker? These funky machines came with the promise of less manual tasks and thus, more time!

More time! What an awesome benefit.

You know how when you get a good raise, you first think to yourself, “This is great! My expenses will stay the same and I’ll bank the difference of this new paycheck.”

But then you don’t. You manage to find a way to expand to use up every single dollar of that new pay.

Yeah. It’s like that with all the “found time” that computers brought to my world.

Right now time is the scarcest and most valuable resource I have.

There are only 24 hours in a day to spend.

I use eight of them sleeping.

Another three or so on getting ready, eating, travel time between destinations, dealing with a yowling cat, hugging The Good Man, etc.

And twelve sitting in front of a computer screen working my buns off on a massive project at work.

Let’s see…twelve plus eight is twenty…plus three is twenty three….

That leaves, uh, yeah, one hour in the day where I can just skive off (as the British say) and have some fun.

One hour to write, and craft, and think, and read a book, and just sit for a moment and look at the sky and daydream.

One hour. Sixty small minutes.

That’s not very much. I’d best use it wisely.

What got me thinking about this today?

The ten minutes I sat, waiting, on an open conference call bridge waiting for my perpetually absentminded sales rep.

I only gave it ten, then I got back to work.

I’m a little bit aggrieved about that ten minutes. Especially since I wolfed down lunch in order to make that call in time.

And now I’m indigested.


This should get better by end of April. That’s a looooong thirty days.

And for all you smarty pants out there, yes, I found time to write this blog post. I used the hour I WOULD have spent on that conference call. Found time! Yesssss!

Photo by Chris Gilbert and used royalty free from stock.xchng.

Keep it to yourself, grandma

I remember back when I was about 25 or 26, living in Albuquerque and working at Sandia Labs. Single. Searching. Doing ok.

My older sister was also single and in her twenties, and we grew pretty close back then.

There was one day when I was staying over at her house that she and I went for a walk. We were each other’s support group, so we’d walk along and talk. We’d engage in walking therapy.

This was a chilly winter day. We walked with pink cheeks and a scarf ’round the neck.

We talked about how we both tend to have this internal dialog of snarky comments as we go through our days.

Both of us copped to it. Then my sister said something that sticks with me.

“I just worry that as I age, my ability to keep those thoughts inside will become more difficult.”

I laughed. And I agreed.

See, in our family, we have this relative. My mom’s aunt. She’s a bit infamous among the family as possessing a rather acid tongue. She didn’t even need to grow old to splat out hateful, spiteful and just plan snarky comments.

Oh, she was loyal to her family, especially her beloved brother (my grandfather) and made no bones about letting my grandmother know she wasn’t good enough. I believe she also let my dad know he wasn’t good enough for my mom.

So my sister and I both know that the genes of Aunty Snarky run deep within our DNA. We know how to turn on that frosty chill and say something cuttingly acerbic.

But as my sister pointed out, back then, we did okay keeping it inside.

Now, looking at the world through 40 years old eyes (that need vision correction), I find that my sister was entirely prophetic.

I *am* having trouble keeping that Aunty Snarky side to myself.

It’s such a push-pull of being “the nice girl” vs “oh hell, let’s just be honest.”

I recall reading one of my grandmother’s journals (after she had passed away). In it, she discussed how people always think she’s so nice, “but,” she wrote, “if they only knew.”

Well, I’m afraid I’ve surpassed “if they only knew.” They know.

Because I’ve become that cranky old broad. Only I’m not quite old enough yet to get away with it.

I say things. Out loud. (For example, the “What the f— is your problem?!?!” incident from about a month ago.)

I’ve always ranted about man’s inhumanity to man and tried to rise above it. I really have. But I guess I’ve been worn down. I guess “everybody is doing it” and so I’m no longer rising, I’m wallowing down in it.

Hoo boy. I’m not proud of it.

When I was in Las Vegas, I got busted for it too. I was standing in the narrow median of a quiet street taking a photograph. A pickup rolled by and the driver slowed and said, “I thought you were crossing the street…”

And I thought he was being an a’hole about me being in the median. I’d gotten hassled so much that day while taking photos so my hackles may have been a bit up.

I whirled on him. “Oh nice!” I yelled, “Thank you VERY much. No really, thanks for being such a nice guy!!!” I yelled sarcastically as he drove off.

Ten minutes later the guy walked up to me. “Hey, I just meant, I couldn’t tell if you were crossing the street. But then I saw your camera and I figured it out. That’s all.”

Whoooooo did I feel like a jerk. I ended up apologizing to him and we had a pretty nice conversation about photography.

You’d think that would have capped my fat mouth.

It did, only somewhat.

I’m trying.

I really am. Hard to get that horse back in the barn after all the frolicking in the fields.

It’s just…I don’t always want to be “the nice girl.”

Sometimes I think I just want to be Aunty Snarky when I grow up.

I’m so conflicted.

Spring forward? Yes, please! Fall back? Bah!

Have I ever mentioned that I *love* daylight savings time? Love it. Looooove it.

I can hardly wait each year for the time to change, for the days to grow longer, for it to be warm and sunny and I get to wear cute sandals and short dresses and the feeling of optimism pervades.

Every year, I dread with equal force when time changes back. It’s a concession to fall-turns-into-winter. The days grow shorter. I have to wear a freaking jacket. In the Bay Area it’s probably raining and pessimism, Seasonal Affective Disorder and endless gray skies pervade.

Last night, at ten minutes to six in the evening, it was pitch-black dark outside.

It won’t be long before it’s pitch-black dark outside by 5:30.


Everyone chirrups about how “we get that hour back!” and “it’s an extra hour of sleep!”

Yeah, even the promise of more sleep can’t warm me up to this time change.

At all.

I may be a human, but I’m basically just an animal. The Feline can’t tell time. She doesn’t really understand why the kibble isn’t dropping into the blue bowl at the same time it did two days ago. I mean, she *really* can’t understand.

She’s yowling at me as I write this. She’d like you to call Kitty Protective Services and report an abuse. Indignant is the adjective that best describes her demeanor.

And really, I can’t blame her! I’m hungry too! My internal clock is all off. Sleep isn’t happening right. Food is out of whack.

All of my external clocks are a mess too! Some of them fix themselves automatically. Some of them fix automatically, but we wired to make the change a couple weeks ago. Some I have to manually adjust.

What the $%#@ time is it anymore? I need a little precision, people!

Don’t even get me started on the people who will lecture that time is but an illusion, a made up method of marking events. Bah! That makes it worse. We made up this measurement device, and then we fiddle with it.

The Feline has it right, I think. She wakes up, she’s hungry. Bam. Done. Why we gotta make it harder than that?

While we’re on the topic, I’d like to ban alarm clocks. I think it’s unnatural to wake your body out of a perfectly nice sleep with a jangling device. I think we should all get to sleep until we’re done sleeping, and then get up and face the world.

It would be a much more civilized place if we did.