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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Debra Salonen: Wasting Time

I don't know about you, but I'm terrible at wasting time. Just awful. I keep thinking about all the things I should be doing. Books I could be reading. Books I should be writing. Chores that won't get done by themselves. Dust bunnies that are breeding as I sit there trying to do nothing. This makes doing nothing counterproductive because I'm all stressed out about not doing something productive.

I'm going to make a really bad retiree when the day comes.

But the day will come.

So, lately, I've been thinking about creative time wasting--or, how to waste time in a way that doesn't feel so wasteful. Yes, I see the irony, but...baby steps, people. I'm thinking I need to ease into this. 

So...here's what I've got:

1. Step away from the phone.
Gulp.
Already, I can hear my brain generating a million reasons why this is a bad idea. But, if you think about it, there was a time, not long ago, in fact, when you weren't accessible 24-7. Pre-answering machines. Pre-pagers. Pre-cellphones. If people couldn't reach you, they accepted that you "weren't available." This needing to be available at all times, makes doing nothing very difficult.

2. Accept that walking without a destination or purpose is okay.  If you must, take along a dog. That will allow you to pretend you're doing something useful (and maybe in your dog's opinion, you are). Normally, when I'm walking, I carry my phone so I call family members and catch up on news--something I feel guilty about not doing when I'm working. But, talking is still doing something. So...glancing back at #1...leave the phone at home. Just walk.

3. Practice sitting--without a laptop on your lap. This may require you to sit as far away from your  desk or laptop or electronic device as possible. Even though Facebook is a huge time suck, and, thereby, technically, a waste of time, it's also part of the bigger problem for me: it's work. If there's a computer in range of my hands and eyes, I will be writing...something.
I'd like to share a meme from a book I'm writing for my family called: The Wisdom of Milt. It's based on the sayings of my late father-in-law, Milt Salonen. I love the Zen of this one, and I aspire to reach this time wasting plateau.

 
4. When weather allows, cloud gaze. I live in a part of the world where clouds can feel like a gift, and on those rare days when blue skies are dotted with puffy white orbs, I highly advise assuming a comfy position with appropriate SPF and eye protection, then let your imagination play. Perhaps, you'll get lucky and a dragon will drop by for a visit, as this fellow did a few weeks ago when I was on the coast. If I hadn't been standing outside doing nothing, I wouldn't have noticed.


So, um, that's all I've got. It's going to be an uphill battle, I know, because I come from a long line of busy women. My mother was still cracking walnuts for pay in her nineties.
How do you waste time--and not feel guilty about it? And, since I firmly believe reading is NOT a waste of time, you can't count that. But you can tell me what you're reading because I'm not giving that up EVER. I will pick one name from the comments to receive a $5 Starbucks gift card, because, for me, doing nothing is easier with coffee/or tea.

Deb

You will find Debra Salonen: Amazon  Facebook  Twitter  Website Blog

Winner of Romantic Times Reviewer's Career Achievement "Series Storyteller of the Year" award in 2006, Debra Salonen's 26 titles for Harlequin Publishing have sold more than 2.3 million copies, worldwide.
A six-time nominee for RT's Best Superromance of the Year award, UNTIL HE MET RACHEL (May 2010), took home that honor with Debra's most unlikely hero and a never-say-die heroine.

Montana comes alive with bold heroes and modern heroines in Debra's Big Sky Mavericks series from Tule Publishing, check them out on Goodreads:
`MONTANA COWGIRL - "Cowgirl, you can go home--and love--again."
`MONTANA COWBOY - "He's nobody's cowboy until his new neighbor rocks his world."
`MONTANA DARLING - "Her land. His tent. And this is Montana, where property disputes can lead to a range war...or love."
`MONTANA MAVERICK - "A lone wolf PhD rescues a rancher--and gains a life."
`HER FOREVER GIFT (a FREE holiday novella) - "The system failed him, but she never would."


39 comments:

Lil said...

I waste time by watching reality tv cooking competition shows or singing ones. I know it is purely for the entertainment and I get to relax, chuckle or cringe and not have to think about issues for a while. And you are right, reading isn't a waste of time. My favorite recent read was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It was elegantly and lightly written about difficult issues set in England after WWII and a romance!

Laney4 said...

I waste time by watching comedians on talk shows (esp. late night) - as I record the show and just watch those segments later. I think laughing is very important in life....
I am about to start reading Kelli Ireland's Wound Up (Blaze). Can't have too many fires burning, LOL!

Debra said...

I absolutely LOVED that book, Lil. It opened my eyes to a part of history I had no clue about.
And I follow those same shows for the same reason--mindless escape.
Thanks for your reply.

Debra said...

Laughing is huge, Laney. Thanks for reminder. I used to tape a couple of the Comedy Networks series, but when I got a new recorder, I forgot. Hmmm...
I have several Blaze author friends. I always "wished" I could write one, but my brain doesn't work that way. LOL.

traveler said...

I waste time by using all my strength and energy on the mind absorbing task of cleaning which never ends and is futile. I am reading A Memory of Violets which is m emorable.

petite said...

Wasting time was always frowned upon in the old days so it is a luxury now to have the chance to do just that which means whatever I want to do I do. I feel that I can for the first time in my life after battling a disease for two years. Reading brings me great pleasure and I am enjoying a captivating novel, After The War is Over. I enjoy historicals which are profound.

susieqlaw said...

I love to read. Also, I could walk on the beach or just stare at the ocean for hours.

Roe Clark said...

I love wasting time beading, crafting, knitting, crocheting when I'm not cooking or reading - I love to keep busy spending time doing what I like to do :-)

Nova said...

I am currently reading WHO NEEDS CUPID? Just completed the first story of 3; and enjoying it immensely. i also "waste" time by baking or just watching a bad sitcom on tv. :)

Melissa feehan said...

I am a professional time waster. I am exceptionally good at it. I wish I had more time to waste. I can spend hours going to garage sales or goodwill or wandering through a thrift shop. I go run errands and end up taking three times as long as other people wood. I can hurry, and do projects in a quick manner, but to relax I take the long way.

Teresa G said...

I love to watch NCIS and Elementary. I also love to make dinner for my family and spend time with friends. Though I'm not sure I consider any of those things wasting time. It's just part of who I am.

Janine said...

Facebook is my time waster. I spend way too much time checking to see what everyone else has been doing. My life is so boring, I have to get my excitement through other people.

Debra said...

Cleaning...yes. A study in futility.

A Memory of Violets. I'll have to look for that. Thanks.

Debra said...

That sounds just like my MIL and Mom. Both kept their hands very busy even when they were watching TV.

PoCoKat said...

Reading Hold Me by Susan Mallery. I waste time on Facebook.

Debra said...

Taking the long way...I like that, Melissa. Thanks. I'll have to remember that--especially when I'm walking the dogs.

Debra said...

I don't consider time with friends and family a waste at all. That's what keeps us human and connected. Cooking can be meditative for me, but sometimes it's a drudge. Then it feels like I'm wasting time.

Debra said...

I doubt that, Janine.

Debra said...

Definitely a time suck.

Bonnie said...

I spend to much time on Facebook,don,t feel guilty because I would miss picture of my little great great Granddaughter and miss family news. I'm reading Archer's Voice because I saw it list as a lot of people's favorite read, but I was reading late last night and it had me scared I quit because I was worried it would give me nightmares.

Debra said...

Oh, my. I may have to avoid that one. Keeping in touch with friends and family is the best part of FB for me.

Rita Reitz said...

I can watch animals playing for way too long. My cat loved to play with a pipe cleaner. And in college I could watch my roommate's gerbils. Just a note on the stepping back from our phones, etc. Our local news showed a RadioShack ad from 1991. Everything on the front page is now on your smartphone. As far as books - my next one is Montana Vet by Ann Roth

dstoutholcomb said...

My guilty pleasure is watching Y&R at lunchtime. Habit learned with my grandma.

Denise

Eileen A-W said...

Reading when I should be doing other things. Also when weather permits, taking a walk with the dog. My pup likes to decide the direction - north, south, west to the river (okay, it's trail way high above the Mississippi River, but follows it) or north & then east. Yes, there are variations, but he so funny about thinking he's in charge. Unfortunately it's been a while since we've have a good walk. It's too cold! :(

Kerry said...

Facebook is my time waster. I should be doing other things (writing reviews, etc) or working on my own stuff, and GS stuff, or doing other stuff around the house. Or finding work. Reading is not a time waster, per se for me....but others wonder some times. I do tend to let time get away from me, though!

Shari said...

I waste time by sitting out on my deck with my cup of coffee watching the birds. Very relaxing

Tina Peterson said...

I'm reading Daring The Wild Sparks by Ren Alexander

Debra said...

Rita, that's so funny about Radio Shack ad. And so true!!! Great point about watching animals. Those are some of the ones that I click on while on Facebook. Suddenly, hours go by. LOL.
I love Ann and that books sounds so good! Enjoy!

Debra said...

My son and I used to watch Days of Our Lives. Definitely a guilty pleasure.

Debra said...

I remember feeling "house bound" when I lived in the mid-west, Eileen. Books were a lifesaver. I love that you let the dog choose.

Debra said...

Yup, FB is a black hole at times, but reading is definitely not on the time wasting list. LOL.
Kerry, I think I owe you a gift card from my last visit here. Can you contact me with your email addy? debsalonen at gmail dot com.

Debra said...

Brilliant, Shari! We have soooo many birds visiting right now. The hawks are establishing new territory and they are loud!

Debra said...

Tina, I love that title. Thanks for sharing!

Debra said...

WAit, maybe not here, but another blog I did recently. A Hallmark gift card. Lisa Mondello's blog, I think. Sound familiar?

dstoutholcomb said...

:)

Debra said...

Good for you, Petite! I'm reading a historical which is not profound. Sorta disappointing. sigh.

Debra said...

LOL. I know that title! I don't bake any more because then I eat it. Not good for a person who sits for a living. ;-)

Debra said...

Me, too. Me, too.

Debra said...

My granddaughter picked lucky number 13...since it's her day of birth. So, the winner is: Rita Rietz, if my math is correct. Rita, let's connect so I can send you that Starbucks gift ecard.

Thanks all, for making this such a fun guest blog experience.