Thursday, May 6, 2010

Time on my mind

My friend Steven poses a question on Facebook, “Does anybody know where I can buy some extra time?” Last week another friend told me, “God didn’t give me my house or my car; the only thing He gave me is my time. It’s up to me where I spend it and who I spend it with.”
Like money, you can’t have enough time. Unlike money, you can’t horde time. Both time and money can be saved and spent, given and taken, invested and wasted, stolen and redeemed.
Buying extra time involves money. You can pay someone to spend their time on your enterprise. You only get the extra time, though, if you are willing to take your hands off the outcome (micromanagers need not apply).
You can buy time with time, but not extra time. If you spend less time on one project, you can buy time for another project. But small efficiencies yield small gain. To buy real time involves hard choices and lifestyle changes. Making time to write is a good example.
Like a grazing cow, the time put into keeping a blog ultimately yields a product, but also produces a lot of questionable byproduct. Some of the result becomes manure that will nourish other endeavors and some merely pollutes the day with things left undone – like laundry, dinner preparation, bill paying, exercising – all good and necessary activities.
The multi-tasking that served me so well in my career no longer serves. Writing requires focus and abandon. Abandon hope of ticking much off the task list all ye who enter here. Perhaps this is the answer. To buy time, I must: a|ban∙don: 1. give up (something) completely or forever and 2. yield (myself) completely in unrestrained freedom of action or emotion.
This is the crossroads where it is possible to enter a creative flow and experience time standing still. Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, strange and wonderful things happen, but then we emerge and the clock keeps ticking.
Here is the adventure. Give up something completely (for today). Give up something forever. Yield to one calling with abandon; limit the others completely (for today) or forever.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cheap Scissors

I buy cheap scissors and litter them on desks and countertops all over the house where they will be accessible when I want to separate a return form from a meeting notice, slice the top off a vacuum sealed pack of salami or stab at a foil-wrapped card of allergy pills. But when I reach for them, they aren’t there.
Apparently cheap scissors have a Facebook page where they announce nocturnal gatherings in my kitchen drawers. They get together, party all night and when I finally track them down, they are piled on top of each other like an exhausted mosh pit.
Why haven’t the prayer beads I lost showed up in the drawer to evangelize these lost scissors? And my ivory carved elephant earrings, made in France, purchased for $4 in a Berkeley head shop, stolen by a babysitter – why haven’t they used the sponsored links on Google to find and reunite with me?
I must admit, my cheap scissors do not break out in a chorus of “Once I was lost, but now I am found!” when I locate them in their nefarious nest behind my silverware organizer. If I pull them out by their blades, warn them about the pitfalls of mob behavior and attempt to restore them to a purposeful existence they disappear again as soon as I turn my back.
So I’ve decided to try something different. Maybe more is not better, better is better. If I pay good money for a quality pair of scissors, one with ergonomic eye rings, a properly threaded lower shear blade, an upper shear blade with a finely beveled back and a cutting edge that is, well cutting edge – they might not want to run off and huddle with the buck-and-a-quarter riff-raff.
Scissors formed of hot forged cutlery grade steel might appreciate their place of prominence on my counter. A quick internet search led me to where I can choose from 283 models, each with a different purpose.
This could be a slippery slope.