Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I was thinking about this topic as I thought about line drying the clothes. I have tons of free time. It seems like I should be ashamed of this fact since most of the people I read emails from talk about how little time they have; but it's true, I have lots of time to myself. My free time might be spread out throughout the day but there is rarely a day I can't sit down and read for at least a few hours.

I have fond memories of walking to the store and playing games with my grandmother over the summers when I was growing up. She didn't drive and we had to walk or take a bus everywhere. One thing that she seemed to have in abundance was time. We would spend one morning walking to the store, having lunch, and then returning home. The next day we might play a few games, watch TV, and hang up the laundry. I don't remember her ever being in a hurry or pressed for time.

Today few people seem to have any extra time. They are constantly running here and there and rarely stopping to do much more than catch their breath. I wonder how children will remember their parents and grandparents. Will they have the same type of memories that I have of playing games and just enjoying each other? Or will they remember being in the car on the way to one activity or another and never really having time to talk?

I just finished In Defense of Food and one of the things the author mentions is the lack of time we as Americans spend on preparing and eating food. Convenience foods are something that are common in today's world since so few people have extra time. Where has all the time gone?

People don't have time to hang up the laundry, cook food, or just enjoy life. Why is that?


Susan said...

Don't feel ashamed or guilty of having time to be with your kids and to read. You're doing what you should be doing. I keep trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong that I don't have that kind of time. I do have time to make real food. And hopefully within the next few months I'll have time to play some games with the kids and get back to a less frantic busyness.

I'm not sure why we don't have time like we did years ago. I suspect it's got something to do with "having it all" and driving for things instead of living with the people who are right here next door. Weird thing is that it seems the Other Guy's drive to "have it all" affects the economy in such a way as to make it harder for people like me to make it financially in a more laid-back way. In other words, we can't have chickens or goats in the backyard. The grocery store shelves are full of junk. Same for the restaurants. And the dual-income families drive up the cost of housing. And our desire to protect the environment from eeeevil mankind results in these ridiculous fuel prices. All these things mean that it's harder for that weird minority to live the properly relaxed life our grandparents did.

Cheryl said...

We're one of those families that doesn't have any time, and I worry a lot about the very thing you mention here (our kids growing up only having memories of us running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything done). It seems we don't spend a lot of time together playing games, watching movies, or doing a lot of the things that I hear other people talking about. But like Susan I can't figure out what we could do differently. We are not one of those frantic families running all over for activities. Our son plays chess, but we don't do sports. We teach the music lessons ourselves. And we don't have a busy social life (and neither do our kids). Our lives are church and homeschooling and trying to pay the bills. That's it. But it's still too much, and I don't know where to cut. I think part of the problem migh be living in a fast-paced upscale suburban environment. We are in some ways slaves to the economy we live in.