A Reprise on Fungible time

November 23, 2006 | By | 2 Replies More

Last evening, I wasted about 1½ hours working in the basement on some uninteresting but useful titanium accessories that I call Fat Wires on MrTitanium.com. I had a dyslexic moment, and made them slightly wrong. Just wrong enough that I can’t in good conscience sell them. I found this very frustrating. A big waste of time.

This morning I started over. This sort of fine craft allows my mind to wander as I cut, hammer, punch, drill, grind, band-aid, polish, bend, re-polish, and assemble. I reflected on Erich’s post on Fungible time: The principle that time, like money, is commutative in an accounting sense. In brief, time is spent whatever you do, so you should make the best of it.

So I wondered (in between thinking about the imminent Buy Nothing Day and listening to FM blather) why I was so upset at having wasted 1½ hours on honing my craft but getting no product, yet a comparable time wasted playing Doom2 or watching YouTube doesn’t bother me. I quit TV several weeks ago.
My patient wife reassured me that it is natural to be frustrated by a failed effort. But why is this more bothersome than simply frittering away some of my limited time in this world? I do hate to waste.

So, how do I feel about the time I spend blogging? It hurts whenever I have the sense to throw away paragraphs that don’t contribute to my point, especially when they are good ones on their own. Otherwise, it doesn’t feel like a significant waste of time. If I weren’t writing here, I’d probably be keeping a (more detailed and explicit) journal that (odds are) no one will ever read. And by writing here, it is a more sociable (albeit still narcissistic) use of my verbal expressions than my other limited outlets.

Anyway, it’s Thanksgiving. I’ve got to go clean, and cook, and get some yard work and rough carpentry done. Time to let this entry go “to press” if I want to actually accomplish some noticeable fraction of my to-do list.


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Category: Consumerism, Meaning of Life, Whimsy, Writing

About the Author ()

A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (2)

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  1. Dan says:

    Ironically, though your writing is always enjoyable, I have a list of things I should be doing to maximise my personal productivity, and reading blogs isn't on it.

  2. hogiemo says:

    Dude, lighten up! You make a difference here, and I'm sure with who you are for your family. But, if I make a whopper of a mistake, I usually don't repeat it, any lesson learned is not time wasted. As I once wrote in a short story; "pain writes the best lines of history".

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