Thursday, September 21, 2006


time seems to be rare these days. most people don't seem to have enough of it. upon request from my buddy 'no' i will post on time. :) my take on the whole thing is priorities. folks don't know how to prioritize what is important and what is not. renegade eye commented in the previous post about how folks used to make time for civic committments. we don't do that. why? priorities. our culture has become used to folks doing what we can't or won't for us. what they can't do- doesn't get done. why? priorities. americans spend more time at work than ever- their kids spend more time in the company of strangers than ever. why? priorities. do you need two cars? maybe. do you need a huge home? probably not. most folks have like 2 kids. do you need a 100,000 square foot home? doubtful. we are striving for the 'american dream' and in the process- we are losing it. what should be important to us? my knee jerk reaction would be- time. nothing puts into perspective for me more than the fact that my mom is on borrowed time. could i be doing a thousand things on my 'to do' list while i am sitting with her listening to the same story i have heard a million times before? sure. but i know that there will be a time when she won't be sitting there telling me- and i am going to make the most of the time we have.

so to me- time management is about priorities. my priorities are taking care of the people i love and trying to save the country i love. do you have to work 50 hours a week? do you have to let your child be raised by strangers? are you keeping yourself and your family busy every minute of the day as a distraction? soul searching and prioritizing are the keys to time management 'no'. yes, that new car looks nice in the driveway and you can get 160 channels but what is your life all about? that is what our predecessors in this country had a handle on. it is what we have lost in our over connected world. what memories are you making?


jovial_cynic said...

How introspective of you.

Of course, your message seems to be targeted towards the upper-middle class who have the options you've described...

Anyhow, it's hard to say what's the cause in the priorities issue -- is it the fault of individuals who value corporate security and believe in the work = worth mentality? If so, that's a tragic statement about the emotional security of a very large demographic.

My libertarian friend just recently quit his computer programming job, sold his house (fully furnished) and has hit the road to travel and fall completely off the grid. Of course, being a libertarian, he's not going to be working towards any federal-level civic responsibilities, but he's certainly prioritizing his life. It's easier for him to make that choice than it is for me, as I'm married with two kids and another on the way. But my libertarian friend? Single, no strings attached. And off he goes... he's got all the time in the world now.

AlaskaBaby said...

yeah, it is all about the memories isn't it? Now that I'm 44 and my oldest child has moved out... I'm really getting it.

shawn (aka blogstud) said...

What a great post, betmo, and so true.

I get so frustrated these days when things take more time than they are supposed to because I have so little time.

Working pretty much full time, and pursuing a college degree leaves very little extra time. I have friends that I have not seen in months!

I do allot time for my blog because, like you, I think it is important, and because it helps me learn how to be a good journalist and, I hope, improves my writing.

I just get the basic TV package at home--the networks and most of the news channels, and a few others. I downgraded the cable channel package a long time ago. I found that it is much cheaper, moneywise and timewise, to just wait until the shows I want come out on DVD, and then buy them. The funny thing is, I have hundreds of DVD's and have watched half of them. I have fewer books, but still a lot, and have only read a fraction of them.

I keep thinking I will have the time someday.........

Yes, time indeed.

betmo said...

"time keeps on tickin', tickin', tickin' into the future..."

jc- i suppose it is more for folks with the luxury to squander time- but everyone makes the time to bitch about the government and most people watch tv- they make time to do that. my previous post was about taking 10 minutes out of your life to contact your representatives.

i also think that no matter how busy you are- you make time for things that are important to you. some folks carve out the time to watch their absolute favorite football team for 2 hours on a saturday- others may take a morning to hit an early bird sale- or whatever. the average american has more time than they think that they do- and we all waste more time than we should.

Frederick said...

That's the trick, they have us working longer and harder to get the things we all used to have, as time goes by we are working harder to have less and less. My only hobby is my blog, because it doesn't cost a dime, unlike everything else these days.

Chuck said...

"so to me- time management is about priorities."

Another excellent post betmo. I like how you speak from the heart and "throw up mirrors" to those who read your words.

I hope you keep blogging for a long time to come and I'm fortunate to have found your blog.

thepoetryman said...

They wolves have pounced on the dumbing down of America, the tired and weak, the overstimulated citizenry and the flash and pan rhetoric and images that inundate our every waking moment. Elevator music, shopping mall big screen tvs, resteraunt big screen tvs, van dvd players, blaring advertisements in all corners, radio, tv, newspapers, internet, vehicles, skateboards, sporting events, hospitals, utility companies, and most disheartening- kindergarten through highschool indoctrination ads influencing development.... Address these issues and curb them to the nth most degree and we may make headroom in the humanity enlightenment phase... Maybe.

carbunclefrank said...

Great post betmo. Being retired, I know how to prioritize my time. Get up when I want and do what I feel like doing. That is about as easy as it gets. Yeah, you gotta do stuff like shower, shave, etcetera every so often so that you can be with others and not offend but in reality, you have to be with yourself all day and what works for you is much more important than what anybody else thinks. We are all here on borrowed time. Stand next to a Redwood tree and touch the bark of a living entity that has been on earth for 300 years and you will start to realize how insignificant we mortals are. Oh, Betmo........I almost can't be antisocial because you're here communicating and if you look in the mirror I know you will see someone you like.

dawn said...

Betmo, I like this post I try to prioritize my time too. I don't give the kids as much time as I would like but my 3 know they are loved. Actually we gave up alot because I didn't start working until Double A was in1st grade. The others had more of me. For those who can afford to give the time, for those who can't make the time you have with family special. I know the little one said to me the other day that he remembers when I would stick special notes in his lunch as a surprise. He is in 7th grade now. I can't tell you how happy I was that he remembers the little special things. Sorry to go off the subject a bit, Love ya

charlie said...

I have no answers, betmo. I only have more and more questions. I don't even know what a priority is, nor can I solve moral dilemmas. The older I get, the more I read, the more I think, the less i know.

EAPrez said...

very thought provoking. when you think about it most people's lives are set up around 'stuff' getting it and keeping it and maintaining it. i've made a conscious effort to refocus and simplify. For example - I had my cable disconnected a few months ago - hard for a news junkie like me but I've managed. Yeah, I'm not cutting edge with the current crop of shows and I miss Real Time but I have lots of extra hours each week.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I am amazed at how much I can actually get done. I think you are right, time is about prioritizing and time management. American culture is one that doesn’t make room for artistic expression or free thought. It is designed to exhaust its citizens so they lounge, consume, and never question. The culture has a strong pull. It is hard to disconnect from such a pervasive culture, but once you do, you will be amazed at how much time you find on your hands.

But having said that, I live in Malaysia and American culture has followed me here. I still find it difficult to turn off the TV and have some quality me time, but as a teacher and a new dad, my mind is always thinking of what I will do next.

Hey Betmo check out the book Status Anxiety by Alain du Button…I think he covers some issues you are mulling over. That is if you have the time….

Human said...

Maybe you heard this one
"Slow down, ya move too fast. Gotta make the morning last, Just kicking around the cobblestones, looking for fun and feeling groovy..."

Important to me - Leaving the world a better place for my precious Lil Joe to grow up in. There are others, but I like looking for fun and feeling groovy.

I gotta say hi to a lampost and watch some flowers growing...


No said...

Thanks for the shout out, Bet, and the good advice.

and by the way, I do know what a space shuttle is (you'll have to go to my blog to find out what the hell I am talking about)..I just didn't know it looked like a jet when landing..and why is this different from a rocket?

"Am I an idiot? You be the judge." I think this should be my new title for my blog.

spadoman said...

I'd comment here, but I don't have the time.......
Batmo...I'm home! Come over and unload and unpack all my crapola so I can have some time to just lay around :)

Great post to come home to. I'll elaborate later.

landsker said...

How does the old saying go, "Time is money".
These days, money is power, and those with both seem to set the agenda for "working" people.
Why should our governments always make enemies upon whom to wage war?
Why should our taxes support the militaries?
Why should religion be excused from taxation.

The government always urges the population towards unquestioning patriotism, and hard work.
Which creates material wealth, which can be taxed, to support the government. Unlike spiritual well-being, which cannot be taxed.

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" Samuel Johnson, London 1775.

Peace, Landsker.

spadoman said...

It is definately a choice. But the choices are limited by socio-economic stature, as was suggested by jovial_cynic.

I disagree to a certain extent, however. I moved my family around with disregard for what society thinks we needed to have. I rsiked living without health insurance, for example, knowing that we wouldn't be turned away in an emergency as long as there were organizations like Catholic Charities and Lutheren Brotherhood.

We lived cheaply. Most would call it a "bad neighborhood". But I felt my family was making it a better neighborhood.

At one point, I had three daughters in one bedroom in a mobile home. It was a choice.

We choose to buy what we buy and want what we want. A person could buy all their clothes at the second hand Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift stores. Non-packaged foods can be bought in bulk at the co-op, whole grains and the like. Meals do not have to be three and four course. Eating habits could change. Frills are chosen.

Of course I wouldn't be typing on the keyboard of my computer if I decided not to have one. But I could walk to what I needed to survive and get along with much less.

Back when, time was spent differently. You might have been home, but you were busy chopping wood, fetching water, growing, hunting for and preparing food. Fixing a broken tool or making what you needed from scrap or scratch. These ways of life are lost to the current society, and so is time.

Even in the lifestyle right now time can be managed differently. We choose to spend it as we do.

For example, would you consider working part-time so you'll have more time for yourself? probably not, because you meed the money to pay the bills. But a choice can be made to do so.

Now, take some time for yourself.

Boo said...

"The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it"

-W.M. Lewis

Sewmouse said...

I lost my mom this spring.
I got to spend the last 72 hours of her life with her.

Betmo, listen to the stories, listen to the sound of her voice. Record it over and over in your memory so you can play it back when she's not around.

If I had a minute with her again, for every minute I wasted watching TV.....