In the old days of intense mothering (where some of you currently and seemingly forever reside), one day morphed into the next as I endured those 24/7 shifts seven days a week with no clue such a thing as “free time” even existed. Back then it was a good thing to be overseas where real life was busy, and we had no such thing as telephone and junk mail, not to mention sports or other extra-curricular activities for the kids. I could focus on the little priorities I was raising.
Nowadays I find I have developed a case of adult-onset ADD. I tend to flit from one time waster to another. Having Internet has contributed to the problem. I can “quickly” check in on Facebook, mostly looking for news from my children, and find myself fully sucked in an hour later, praying for this, “liking” that, and wishing a dozen friends a happy birthday.
Then there is Pinterest. If you haven’t discovered Pinterest yet, don’t go near it unless you are highly disciplined, and can stay there only for 10 minutes of inspiration and relaxation. For me, I find way too many recipes and craft ideas that I know full well I will never try, but I file them away for a hypothetical day in the future when I might.
Being the frugal missionary, I was delighted with a link on Pinterest for painting upholstered furniture. That would be so much simpler than shopping for fabric, finding someone to do the work, hauling the furniture to the city, etc. Right? I wasted the next hour reading blog after blog about how to do this “simple” job. Then I discovered that the main ingredient I needed was something I would never be able to find in Mexico. Another good idea that will come to nothing.
One final time eater is my Kindle. I hesitate to say anything, because I honestly LOVE my Kindle. I have several versions of the Bible on it, plus several devotional books I am using for 2012. The trouble is that I fritter my time away hunting for online bargains and freebies to read. For a while I was downloading so many free books, it was a full-time job just to organize them all.
The biggest blessing I discovered this past week is that I can borrow books for free with Amazon Prime. Now that’s cool. I am only allowed one book at a time. That forces me to focus and actually finish one book before I download the next one.
Having Amazon Prime is worth it for me, since I tend to procrastinate on ordering things (another symptom of my ADD-ishness) until I am forced to pay for second day shipping or risk wasting further time writing emails to track down packages that inevitably arrive too late.
Somehow I picture the rest of you happily occupied with real people and projects, well organized and self-disciplined, ministering to others full-time. For your sake, I hope you are not in a computer-induced attention deficit mode. If you are, may 2012 be a year we both find balance between worthwhile and wasted time.
IRL* Striving to regain control over my time.