Jun 17, 2009

Free Time? What's That?

by Anna Arnett

I loved Cindy's post on color and free time. One hallmark of a good writer in both prose and poetry, or so I've been told, is the ability to encourage readers to think. It may be easier to write, and very tempting, but didactic composition has a tendency toward being too preachy, and is lack of choice is apt to turn readers away. Of course it depends on who's writing, but it still stands. Everybody does not react positively, even, or especially, to prophets. However, the greatest example, Christ himself, taught in parables, multiladen with food for thought. Cindy's blog last week took me into paths I didn't expect to take. I'm not going to re-quote it here. If you found this, you can find hers. She did indicate that black (the title of this blog) was to be avoided, because we all need free time. I agree with the concept.

However, being rebellious, I chose to color myself black, that svelte, slimming, sophisticated color. Why? Because all those lovely things on her free time list have often made their way to my 'to-do' list at some time or other. When I take too long and get too little done, it's not free time I've used, it's time stolen from something else -- often sleep. Nothing is free. We barter for our 'free' time with forfeiture of other joys or goals we might have chosen. I no longer choose some of Cindy's colors. I seldom watch TV any more, nor sip sodas, and I prefer to drink my water un-iced; I hardly ever go to a movie, but I do put a tape or DVD on now and again. I schedule reading scriptures, fiction, non-fiction; writing is definitely on my list; I schedule shopping trips whenever it's necessary; and exercise is usually the last item crossed off on my list. I'll talk forever on the phone, but seldom look up a number and dial a friend, I've never quite finished any one day's to-do list, and napping always takes me by surprise. Now, if you had "knit, crochet, or other handwork" assigned a color I'd take that. Or a color for Sudoku. The real trick is to like what's on the list. Since for some reason or other we've chosen what to do, or what to list, then we surely want to at least have it done. That's reason enough to decide to like our choice and gladly get at it -- unless we can assign, pay, or talk someone else into doing it for us. Since everything on the fun list could be allocated as scheduled time, and since we're all given 24 hours a day with a hint that we're accountable for every moment of them, I ask again: "Free time? What is that?" Can you see my tongue in my cheek?


  1. What a mess. I got this posted to my own blog instead of the ANWA one, copied and pasted it to this, and look how it turned out! If I knew how to fix it, I would. if I had time to fix it, I would. But I'm off to a Primary Achievement program, and after that to a book club where I'm leading the discussion on Sandra Grey's "Traitor." There's just not time. No scheduled time, at any rate. None that I dare steal from, either. As I say, Free time? What's that?

  2. I fixed it, Anna. Somehow you copied the entire face of your blog, instead of just the text of the one blog post. LOL!

  3. I enjoyed the way you put it Anna...Free time? what is that?...lol...It is all about what we choose to do with that same 24 hours everyone is given...and there are consequences (a price) for all of those choices! You rock, Anna!

  4. I have discovered that free time is stolen moments. My best example is an example a former coworker gave me. She and I love to cross stitch, but when I do it (or did it that's fallen by the wayside), I would try to set aside blocks of time. For some reason (perhaps the frustrated engineer in me) it takes me longer than the average person to stitch. My coworker on the other hand kept it with her and did it even if it was a stitch or two at a time. It didn't seem to bother her to only do a row or two at most. So look for those stolen moments.

  5. Yes, Terry. That's how i've stockpiled a few hundred knit and crocheted dishcloths for my kids to give away at my funeral. If it's in my purse, I can get in a few stitches at doctor's waiting rooms, riding passenger in a car, and if I ever got stuck in an elevator, I'd be prepared. A paperback book is another must.


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