My Gift? Permission to Waste Time

So my gift is something I'd like to give to everyone, myself included.  And that gift is, drum roll please . . . permission to waste time.  That might seem like a strange thing to want to give as a gift, especially coming from someone like me who happens to be in the running for the title of "The Queen of the To Do List."  But recently, I read a book which shines light on the important role that wasting time plays in the area of creativity.

Creativity is paramount to so many things - problem solving, writing, painting, designing, inventing, and on and on and on.  Unfortunately, our lives have become so scheduled and so busy and so full of digital devices that we often times don't have any open spaces, or down time, left in which to be creative.  Alan Lightman's tells readers his remedy for this right in the title of his book.

After reading, In Praise of Wasting Time, I have changed my attitude about over scheduling myself.  And, more importantly, I have stopped feeling guilty about allowing myself the simple pleasure of frittering away an afternoon or squandering a Saturday morning.  Now I realize how important those times are in feeding my creative soul.  According to Lightman, it's in those times, when we are just in the moment, not necessarily trying to accomplish something, that we sometimes come up with our best ideas.

So, this holiday season, I give to you, to me, to all of us who are too busy, permission to indulge in the coming new year with plenty of wasted time.

Happy Hours of Wasted Time to All,


  1. As a "to do list" person as well, this makes perfect sense to me! Now I just have to do it :)

    1. Yes, me too! A great way to start out the new year! Just think of all the great ideas we'll get!

  2. I love using the word "indulge" when describing wasting time. Kind of reminds me of Vonnegut's quote about how we're "here on Earth to mess around."

  3. I kind of think of it like a lost treasure that we enjoyed so much as kids, but now, we sometimes can't pack our schedules tight enough.

  4. I love this, Nancy. My problem is that when I "waste time," too often I really truly WASTE it: hours hunched over my I-pad addictively doing one Sudoku puzzle after another, or internet surfing. I want to be able to find space for TRUE idleness - cozy time tucked on the couch with a library book, or a childhood favorite I've read two dozen times already....


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