Sometimes the weekend arrives like an ambulance late to the scene of a gruesome, week-long accident. Hope soars as you hear the sirens getting louder. Best as you can, you breathe a shuddering sigh of relief as the flashing lights finally come into view.
Smiling benevolently, the paramedics rush you to safety as quickly as possible. After the hour-long ride home, they restore you with familiar surroundings; beer, television, family, a little personal time and if you’re lucky, only about a day-and-a-half’s worth of urgent errands. They tell you that you can rest if you’d like, but only if you cut out the personal time.
When free time starts feeling only slightly more relaxing than the tiny breaks you get during a Guantanamo swimming lesson, what you do with the time outside of work becomes increasingly significant. I’m finally beginning to learn that just a moment’s hesitation can cost you precious minutes, and there’s no lost and found for misplaced time.
Case in point: It was about 9:30 last night by the time Heidi and I had gotten the kids to bed. Exhausted, neither of us could think of anything to do before turning in for the night. I was particularly indecisive, so Heidi decided to read while I tried to figure out what I wanted. For the next 30 minutes, I sat wandering aimlessly on the computer, waiting for something to amuse me, when what I really wanted was to get back to a drawing I had been working on in Photoshop.
Contrary to my nature, I finally asserted myself and made my way down to the computer in my office. I’m glad I did, because what I ended up with was something to show for the investment of my time—something I most certainly would not have gotten had I mindlessly sloshed my way through another hour’s worth of Facebook status updates and news stories. Now if I could just find a way to make that work without staying up until one in the morning.