Tuesday, 14 July 2009

My favourite waste of time

There is such a thing as a sacred idleness - the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected. ~ George MacDonald.

Once upon a time I used to keep chickens. They had a large run at the far end of the garden, backing on to woodland. Every day after I had prepared our meal, I would take them any titbits I could find. They soon got used to the ritual and would come rushing across their small paddock to see what delights were in store.

The rooster would be there first. He would stop and call his ladies over before eating anything. Then the hens would arrive. The mother hens would stop and call their chicks over. They all had their share, and life was good.

Photo from Flickr/David Turner

I would always lean over the fence and watch this scene, and sometimes time would drift by without my noticing. I could quite easily while away long moments enjoying the company of my chickens, and I always came away feeling relaxed and happy.

So it couldn't be called a waste of time, could it?

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip. ~ Sir James Barrie.

Now, I have to agree, there are some, even many, occasions when wasting time doesn't have that desired effect. High up on my list are times like waiting in for a delivery that doesn't show up, or sitting at the end of a phone while a recording repeats, ad nauseam, "All our agents are busy, so please hold the line".

Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen. ~ Jerome K. Jerome

We all need our stolen moments for a little regeneration, recharging, to allow ourselves to be ready to face the world again.


  1. Moment like this is definitely not wasting time. And yet whether or not we are wasting time is something very subjective and can be easily abused by many.

  2. A very thoughtful post and a good (and for me needed) reminder :-)

  3. Time is ours is it not? We have a right to it as does everyone. I have realized it is a very precious commodity, such that I waste as much as possible on things that are important to me.

  4. Feeding the soul is never a waste of time.

  5. @BK, good to see you! I think you're right, it could be abused, but in the right way, "wasting" time can be a way of recharging ourselves.

    @Renny, I hope you take note then! :)

    @ettarose, exactly, who is to dictate how we use our own time. And yet there are many who do judge.

    @Max, feeding the soul is an excellent way to think of it. We need to care for our inner selves as well as physical needs. It's so very easy to forget in a frenetic world, to feed our souls.

  6. It depends how you look at it. If you take these times such as waiting for deliveries, waiting on the phone etc... as opportunities to think or meditate and become inspired then the time was not a waste. If you are like me and become impatient and stressed then it's a waste :) I need to take my own advice.

  7. I wish I could waste some time watching the chickens run round my yard. :)

    I'm too caught up with worldly tasks.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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