Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Where's Your Time?

A great post from Rowan Manahan on what we are doing with our time. It reminded me of a couple of observations in Walter Kerr's The Decline of Pleasure:

We are all of us compelled to read for profit, party for contacts, lunch for contracts, bowl for unity, drive for mileage, gamble for charity, go out for the evening for the greater glory of the municipality, and stay home for the weekend to rebuild the house. Minutes, hours, and days have been spared us. The prospect of filling them with the pleasures for which they were spared us has somehow come to seem meaningless enough to drive some of us to drink and some of us to doctors and all of us to the satisfactions of an insatiate industry.

- snip -

A friend who dropped in to see me a few nights ago expressed two fears in the course of the conversation. One was that, if he did not slow down, he would have a heart attack. The other was that, if he did not hurry up, he would not be able to accomplish enough that was useful before he had his heart attack.


Eclecticity said...

Quite the conundrum I'd say. Have you read "Men's Passages" by Gail Sheehy?

My biggest take away was people like me better stop and figure out where I'm going and what I'm doing before that Big Wake Up Call occurs. Because it will occur.

Can't say I've taken her advice yet, but at least I am semi-aware. DF

Michael Wade said...


I haven't read the Sheehy book. The ability to maintain a balance between caring and not caring about certain issues has to be part of the strategy. We all know the right thing to do, but often operate in environments that reward the wrong thing.

Rowan Manahan said...

Stunning! I've ordered the book. When I'm working with people on stress issues or presentation skills, I always include a unit on proper diaphragmatic breathing. It's amusing to watch the participants 'swim back' to reality after having done nothing but concentrated respiration for 5-10 minutes.

Client after client has commented that the breathing unit has been the most clearing and peaceful experience they have had for weeks.

Sad, really.