Friday, July 14, 2006

Temporal Perspective

I read a corporate newsletter yesterday. Full color separation, glossy paper, with a list of the top executives and bits of information about them. Everyone had a list of their ‘creds’ – BA, MA, MS, BS, PhD, etc, etc, etc; but there the similarity ended. By no rhyme nor reason I could detect in the small sample did a pattern emerge on the next info bytes: there was everything from favorite book to hobbies to favorite quotes and heroes. One executive had the stones to say Lord of the Rings was his favorite book. I was very impressed. Another makes wine on his California property. Well, it’s not moon shine or mead, but it counts for something interesting to do with your time. Another one listed Albert Einstein as his hero, and another, his father. I really liked this update. The last one was interesting from a business perspective, but this one had a human element. The above individuals stood out. Perhaps the pattern to what the copy editors included in the bios was what appealed to them or appeared interesting.

Where’s this leading? Time. These folks are like the borg as far as time commitment to the company. Sure, they’re making bucks, but they’re giving up one of the most precious commodities known to man: Time. Once time is gone, you can never get it up. Nope. Can’t go to K-mart and buy some extra time. Can’t go to your local temporal magician for some either. (I know, I’ve tried).

I think of how I complain of not having enough time to do the things I want to do, yet I have the same 24 hour allotment as these folks, and a job that is no where near as demanding or time intensive. They guy who makes wine also raises horses and does a raft of other fun, interesting and time-centric hobbies. You could say they have staff to clean the house, and a supportive spouse to take care of the details. I’m not big on housekeeping, clean as I go, and have the most supportive, helpful spouse on planet earth. And no kids.

I’m a time management nazi at the office, but once I get home I go all Casablanca ambivalent. The outline helped me manage my writing time, and I cooked a book in 8 weeks. My crit group wonders were I got the time? Well, it was there all along, I just paid more attention to it I think. Grabbed it and ran with it, I suppose. Tim and I are planning more fun things, and doing them. I’ve been trying to decide if I want to climb the corporate ladder or ride the wave at my current pace so I can focus on my writing. Then I read about these guys and I wonder: are the two mutually exclusive? At the very least, I can take a lesson from them. I book time at work, and things get done. I need to book it at home, and treat the down time and leisure pursuits as precious as the paid time and project plans in Babylon. There’s more time than I think, but if I let it go wihtout a thought, it’s gone for ever and there's nothing to show for it but a sense of empty longing - and we all know that's just way to annoying for words.

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