As the final weekend in February approaches, I think it important to remember there’s an extra day this month. Normally I wouldn’t give it a thought, but lately and I tend to do this during periods of stress, I calculate or estimate is a better word, how much time I’ve squandered in my lifetime. For example, since my divorce some 17 rotations ago I figure I’ve averaged 3 hours per day 360 days per rotation, or 1,080 hours the equivalent of (45) 24 hour days per rotation equaling 685 such days for all rotations in total. Staggeringly this works out to 1.6 years of sitting on a bar stool drinking heavily. I suppose one could easily come up with an average dollar amount spent per day but that’s simply throwing salt on the wound!
But before you sharpen your No. 2 pencils let’s keep in mind many good things happen while ‘holding court’ at the neighborhood bar. That’s right, not every single hour is wasted, and certainly a small percentage can be claimed either for humanitarian gestures, building a relationship, or even hatching ideas with potential. On several occasions while lost in a drunken stupor solutions or improvements to complex issues at work and/or my personal life such as it is were manifested. One must agree this is not time wasted!
If I dwell on this slothfulness it makes me physically ill. Then I make vows to schedule life’s rich pageant in such a way as to be more productive and utilize what’s left in my hourglass in a constructive manner. On paper it looks reasonable even executable, but to put this into action is another story all together! Once again I find myself at this familiar crossroad looking for backbone. I’ve already postponed implementation two weeks in a row now, and very much conflicted about it. Renting studio space was supposed to lessen my time on a bar stool, but in fact, I’ve managed to work both the studio and the bar in without missing a day. However, whenever my studio time is productive the guilt is alleviated, at least long enough to sleep. This mind set reminded me of an old joke a very old friend told me years ago:
“There was an old man that rode a bus for years rarely missing a day. This man would sit with his nose in a worn ‘Bible’ carefully pouring over it’s pages intently with real purpose. This went on for years until finally it piqued the curiosity of a young man who with some trepidation approached the old man and asked, “Excuse me sir, I realize you must be a very spiritual man, but I need to ask; what is it you are looking for? The old man looked up staring over his glasses and casually said, “Loopholes.”
I suppose everyone contemplates this from time to time, but most are able to put it in perspective. How many working hours are productive? Travel time? Watching TV? All these activities drain the sand, but in fact they also keep us well rounded and able to deal with our misadventures without a meltdown. If we had to account for every waking minute, I fully believe we’d see three-times the number of people that go ‘postal’ taking out innocent bystanders before eating a bullet. So the next time you feel guilty from selfish activities like drinking, eating, doodling, or simply doing “The Couch Potato” think about the number of lives you’ve saved!