Thursday, June 18, 2009

Free Time? What's That?

I loved Cindy's post on color and free time. One hallmark of a good writer in both prose and poetry, or so I've been told, is the ability to encourage readers to think. It may be easier to write, and very tempting, but didactic composition has a tendency toward being too preachy, and is lack of choice is apt to turn readers away. Of course it depends on who's writing, but it still stands. Everybody does not react positively, even, or especially, to prophets. However, the greatest example, Christ himself, taught in parables, multiladen with food for thought. Cindy's blog last week took me into paths I didn't expect to take. I'm not going to re-quote it here. If you found this, you can find hers. She did indicate that black (the title of this blog) was to be avoided, because we all need free time. I agree with the concept.

However, being rebellious, I chose to color myself black, that svelte, slimming, sophisticated color. Why? Because all those lovely things on her free time list have often made their way to my 'to-do' list at some time or other. When I take too long and get too little done, it's not free time I've used, it's time stolen from something else -- often sleep. Nothing is free. We barter for our 'free' time with forfeiture of other joys or goals we might have chosen. I no longer choose some of Cindy's colors. I seldom watch TV any more, nor sip sodas, and I prefer to drink my water un-iced; I hardly ever go to a movie, but I do put a tape or DVD on now and again. I schedule reading scriptures, fiction, non-fiction; writing is definitely on my list; I schedule shopping trips whenever it's necessary; and exercise is usually the last item crossed off on my list. I'll talk forever on the phone, but seldom look up a number and dial a friend, I've never quite finished any one day's to-do list, and napping always takes me by surprise. Now, if you had "knit, crochet, or other handwork" assigned a color I'd take that. Or a color for Sudoku. The real trick is to like what's on the list. Since for some reason or other we've chosen what to do, or what to list, then we surely want to at least have it done. That's reason enough to decide to like our choice and gladly get at it -- unless we can assign, pay, or talk someone else into doing it for us. Since everything on the fun list could be allocated as scheduled time, and since we're all given 24 hours a day with a hint that we're accountable for every moment of them, I ask again: "Free time? What is that?" Can you see my tongue in my cheek?

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