Archive for January, 2012

Wasting Time

January 5, 2012

Last night I found myself not sleepy, and having around and hour and a half before bed time to do whatever I liked. It is so rare for that to happen that I could not decide where best to spend that time. Do another page of Ulysses? Work on my graphic novel attempt? Start a new color aid slinky drawing? Read some of the Sunday N.Y.Times or any of the piles of books and magazines on every table in our house?
Meanwhile, my teenage son was sitting next to me on the couch in the small room where we watch t.v. He had his laptop on his lap (how’s that for proper use of machinery?) but he would look up and chat with me or ask me a question and was content. Next to him our lap dog was content too, lying there with squinty eyes waiting for her evening walk. Just about to come on to t.v. was the movie National Velvet, which I had just read about in Vogue, and which I realized I had never seen. So, instead of doing any of those other lofty and achievement oriented activities I chose to sit with my son and our dog, Alice, and kind of watch National Velvet.
As I watched and as I drank in the comfort and warmth of Alice and my friendly child I could feel guilt seeping in to my thoughts, but I pushed it away until it was actually time to go to bed.
This morning I woke as I knew I would, feeling just horrible for having wasted two hours when I complain all the time about not having enough time to do whatever it is I think I want to do. It was like a dieter who’d eaten a chocolate cake the night before, and woke feeling like they needed to run twelve miles to atone for it.
When is it okay to just enjoy a cozy moment? When do I get to feel like I am not less of an artist, person, wife, if I enjoy just being with my child and our dog? What’s the point of having a child and a dog if I am always running off to create or clean or make proper use of my time? What is proper use of time?
Just writing this is making me realize that the time I “wasted” last night wasn’t wasted and that I sound like a lunatic thinking that it was. Now it is the next day and I have a lot of time to do all sorts of things. So, I will not sit around with Alice while my son is at school and my husband is at work. I am going to do lofty things so that tonight, if I find myself awake and with a little spare time, I can just sit there, and enjoy it, which will be the right thing to do.