Monday, February 04, 2008

Shortage of time

You all know that you can take a huge amount of yarn or fibre, and with a little effort, compress all of it into a rather small space. We’ve all learned how to cram balls of yarn into otherwise unoccupied spaces, such as behind books on bookshelves, into unworn shoes, behind and under the couch, unused areas of the freezer, that kind of thing. And it’s hardly even noticeable!

Now, a friend of mine tells me that we are all given the same number of hours in a day. While intellectually, I understand what he is saying, I still think that there are ways to pack into one hour a lot more things than normally possible. What I mean is there are times that I have been able to take all those balls of yarn (the jobs needing to be done) and squish them all into tiny spaces (the hours in a day) with a great deal of efficiency. But there are times, I think, that these mounds of fibre just need to be fondled and admired and can’t be forced into tight confinement without destroying the beauty in them. Hence the realization that I just don’t have enough time.

Now, there may be some of you (so very few of you) that will tend to believe I am being laggard in performing my duties. Well, perhaps. But I think it’s really a matter of how you view what has priority.

For example, there is the matter of meals. While this is something that everyone must do, there are ways to make it as efficient as possible. One can simply go out to eat at a place that prepares meals for a business. It’s done many times a day by thousands of people. True, some may want to consider the financial implications, but let’s not look at that right now. One can purchase ready-made meals, and you can have them at home at your convenience. One can have someone prepare them for you, and it would be waiting for you when you got home. Or one can just skip them altogether now and then.

Of course, there is the other possibility of becoming organized, efficient, skilled at preparing meals for oneself, but that takes a lot of the fun out of it (and takes time). There is the tedious task of planning what you want, what you would require, checking your food stash, and preparing a list of what additional items you need (and there is always something you need). Then there is the actual shopping for these items; it’s not the same as shopping for yarn, where you can leisurely admire, touch, rub against your cheek and dream of what you can make with it – they don’t seem to like that in the grocery stores. Then you have to lug all your booty home (why is it all so heavy?), find places to put it away (there are usually pre-set storage spaces for these things) and then rest. Finally, you have to take time to pull out what you need, getting it all ready (much of it is unprepared, you see), putting it all together in different ways, and setting it to cook. Then you wait.

Ultimately, you then pull all these cooked items out of their over-heated spaces, place into serving dishes on the table and enjoy, if you have any energy left. It’s not all finished yet of course – no one seems to remember that after having your fill, there is the clean-up steps too. If there are any left-overs, you have to find places to put those away, and then remove all the dishes, and wash them up, and put them all away. This is a never-ending process! If you were to count up all the time spent just with preparation, eating, and cleaning up, you would find you could have a lot more knitting time!

There is also the requirement of covering this body. But that’s why we knit or weave! And there are prescribed things I have to wear at certain times of the day, or different places. It would be so much easier to just have ONE outfit I could wear everywhere. No, not enough variety, is there? Okay, that’s not a solution.

Because I have acquired so many different items of clothing for various activities, they need attention too. First, shopping for them (not one of my favourite activities), then finding places to store them as well, and then they also demand care and attention, repair and cleaning! Again, this is something else that requires more time, which is already in short supply. This also requires the investment of some equipment solely for the purposes of care of clothing, which also need a place to be stored when not being used!

This whole idea of having a large enough space to store all the stash of food, and clothing, plus all my fibres, and related equipment and instructional material for all of that is the biggest cost factor. This space also demands to be cared for and then you need specialized equipment for this task as well plus the space to store them! It’s a never-ending cycle!

One thing I do find really takes up a lot of time, besides eating, is this thing called a “job”. It really demands a majority of my day, and I’m not really sure I am using it best advantage. I mean, I know I’m supposed to have one, and it seems to provide me with the means to buy things like food and a place to store my stash, but what else is there to it? I have to spend a good portion of my precious time just getting to the place where they want me, and getting back again. It’s not as if I am performing some essential service or benefiting mankind in any significant way. I wonder if I couldn’t make better use of all that time in some other more enjoyable way, and still be able to get the things I need.

So I’m saying that it’s not that I don’t have enough time – I have as much as you do – but that I have a lot more to pack into that limited amount in the day than most of you do. By the time I go through the eating process, the clothing process, the storage space process, there just isn’t much time left at all. Add into that some of the other necessary activities, such as email and web-surfing, a little sleep, socializing, and what’s left for the real purpose for existence – the joy and exuberance of playing with fibres, and all that entails? As I get older, it seems I am not as energetic in finding creative ways to cram into that same space of time as much as I once was able to.

No, there is only one thing to do: something just has to be eliminated. I’ve cut down a lot on the eating process and kept it to a bare minimum, care of clothing is only as necessary, care and maintenance of the storage space has almost been eliminated, sleep has been reduced to only a couple of hours, and all these steps have helped immensely. There is only one more thing left to minimize – that thing they call a job. I’ve recently even increased my time devoted to it by one more day a week – what was I thinking! But, I’m working on correcting that!

1 comment:

Deb said...

Thanks for posting on my blog about the BSJ. As soon as I get my camera, I'll take a few pictures of it. The pictures on my blog were done by laying the sweater on my scanner.

I'm working on a pair of socks now, and also crocheting an afghan. But as soon as they're done I'll probably do another BSJ.

We keep having snow here in Maine. I am so tired of it. More snow tonight and tomorrow, and then some on Sunday.