Tuesday, January 22, 2019

"I Don't Have the Time" and other ridiculous phrases.




People.

People. People. People.

You do say the silliest things.

Recently, an acquaintance said the following to me when I mentioned that I make my own soap, deodorant, and toothpaste. "Oh, I'd like to do some of those crafty things but I don't have the time."

I'm sorry (not really) to break this to you, all of you who spout this nonsense, but you do indeed have the time. You see, here's the kicker, we all have been gifted the exact same amount of time each and every day-twenty-four hours-no more, no less.


What gets in the way, is the Free Will thing. I have it and so do you, unless you are currently being held captive in some hippie freak commune just outside Podunk Pennsatucky. And if you are, get off the World Wide Web and take the next rutabaga truck out of there.

My point, is this. It's up to each of us how we spend our time. I chose to leave a well paid nursing gig, and a few years after that, we chose to sell our big farm. After purchasing our new farm and building our small grain bin house, we were left with minimal cash but tons more time. We now choose to spend this time growing much of our own food, building barns with recycled materials, heating our house with scrap wood that we gather and cut, and making most of our meals and personal care products from scratch.

You, on the other hand, may have choosen to stay within the proverbial rat race where you work hard for others every day, earning enough money to buy the food and personal products you desire at the restaurant or mega store of your choice. Because of your dedication you might choose to travel more, to purchase a newer car, or to buy the people you love nice things from Amazon. No one is holding my feet to the rocket mass stove fire or your Guccis to the corporate grindstone.

Every time I hear that phrase "I don't have the time" I want to flick that person hard in the middle of their forehead with my formally Cheeto stained fingers, as in,  Hello! You do have the time to do whatever you want, take accountability for how you spend it!"

Perhaps it seems an overreaction on my part, but this annoying phrase is indicative of a major flaw tearing through society's moral fiber these days, the avoidance of personal responsibility.  Kids who misbehave at school and their parents who pass the buck onto TV shows and video games is just one example.  Unplug you wee one once in awhile and/or monitor the shows that you use to anesthetize them, and their behavior might improve or perhaps...and this action is really out there I know...apply a little discipline when they misbehave. Take away some of the hundreds of toys/phones/screens they scatter all over your home, make them do regular chores, and require them to earn the money to buy items they covet. Hold them accountable. Hold yourself accountable. Use your time wisely.

The hourglass does not refill for any of us.



Another phrase voiced by yet another acquaintance when I gifted them some homemade soap for Christmas was, "Someone really has some extra time on her hands." Grrrrrrrrr. That one absolutely made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and wave the Bite Me flag.

 A simple "Thank You "would have sufficed. I hear that phrase often when one person gives another a gift of art, poetry, or homemade food. Obviously, that individual thought I had recently purchased extra hours at the All The Time You Need in the World Store. When I choose to make a gift for someone I am also choosing not to do something else, such as clean my bathroom, weed my garden, email an old friend or scrape dried sweet potato left on our bedroom floor. Don't ask. 

Regardless of which essential task I neglected in order to make a gift, so be it.  It was my choice. So, guess who will not be receiving handcrafted soap from me next year?

I'm sure I just won't have the time.

49 comments:

  1. Oh these are my sentiments exactly!! We are all given the same amount of hours in a day, days in a week, etc, etc. and how we spend them is up to each of us. I get the same crap when I said I just read a good book, or baked, or preserved food...and it makes me so crazy!

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    1. Someday, when someone talks to me about their 40 hour a week job (or 60 hour or 80 hr) I might just have to say "I'd love to work a full time job away from home, but I just don't have the time."

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  2. Absolutely spot on. Thank you for saying what desperately needs to be said.

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    1. The occasional rant. It's what I do, and you're welcome.

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  3. I hate this no time business too.

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    1. People. People. People. They are funny aren't they?

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  4. Since I learned to 'do things correctly', and take my time doing so, I have found that I have far MORE time to do other things. I now take time to explain the method to others, and it works!

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    1. You should call it "Magnon's Method" and publish it in a book, if you only had the time.

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  5. I LOVE my homemade wooden star made from wood from a house in 1868! Then someone I Cherish took the time to make that gift; for me. What greater love is there?
    The gift of someone’s time....

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    1. Thank you seester. And I so appreciate those of you who work away from home and share some of your hard earned cash by buying me gifts now and then. Also, you'll be happy to know that my examples above DID NOT come from any family members.

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  6. People say to me ' You're so lucky to have the time to do that'. Luck doesn't come into it. We made a conscious choice to own a small secondhand car, not to travel abroad, to grow our own food, to eat out as a rare treat not an everyday occurrence, to buy secondhand, to replace things when they're no longer fit for purpose not because we want a newer, fancier model, and to make do and mend. If we don't want all of that 'stuff' and all those ' experiences' that they see as necessities, we don't have to work to pay for them, so we have time to do what we want, and make what we want, and how we live on a very low income.

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    1. Oh yes, the dreaded "You're so lucky" comment. How about instead "You're so hard working", "You're so dedicated" or even "You're so nuts" but as you say, luck has nothing to do with it.

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  7. It always comes down to choices, doesn't it? Choices about how to spend our time, our energy, our money. Sadly, that person chose to be rude.

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    1. Well said. Sadly we've become a victim filled society. If my credit rating is too low to get a house mortgage it's the credit card company's fault for giving me such high credit limits. If I get an infected arm from shooting up heroin it's the county's fault for not supplying me with sterile needles and on and on.

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  8. Oh WELL SAID, girl. WELL SAID. I can relate, and I would've put up just such a post - had I the time. LOL I still cherish (and ration) the last bar of soap I got from you. Beautiful design, fragrant, with scrubby coffee grounds. When did 'homemade' become 'cutesy' or 'too cheap to spring for something nice' ?? I'm trying to train my neighbors. When they help me (I'm getting old) I no longer offer $$ 'for pizza or gas'. Nope. Now they get warm soda bread, a jar of homemade soup, etc. Pity the fool that doesn't FEEL special when they GET something special. Storebought has it's charms (mostly convenience), but something that is more than what it seems? Priceless.

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    1. Thanks so much for the topic solidarity and the soap comments. Re-reading all these comments though makes me feel a bit guilty. I have had those rude retorts lately but our family especially is so very grateful for the homemade gifts and generous with their Thank You's. It's just those rare odd ducks who made us cringe this year. Silly quackers.

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  9. people always ask me where i find the time to do what i do. i tell them that i just don't sit down! btw...that soap is gorgeous!

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    1. The answer is, we make the time. Just like I do not make time to dust often, to clean my oven, or to wade through the stacks of books, paper and magazines cluttering up my stairs. Although today does feel like a paper cleansing day.

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  10. Great post Donna. You are so right, and I have been guilty of saying "I don't have the time"...it's more like "I don't want to make the time right now" I suppose! Oh, I'd say bite me too if someone said that to me after I gave them a homemade gift!!! grrr! Life is all about choices. I choose my lifestyle "and if you don't like it, then you can eff off". (lol not YOU Donna, just the "you" in general...that's a quote from Woody Allen's Manhatten)...but really, people can be so passive aggressive with their "observations". I think it stems from a feeling of inadequacy or even jealousy/envy. I see the old me who worked at a trading firm, go go go, working for money and toys and retirement...then burning out and losing everything I worked for - Then I see the new me, who manages my home, lives simply, quietly, peacefully and spiritually in the present, and is HAPPY and surrounded by LOVE...and I think about all that time I could have been even happier before. But life is about learning and knowing what lifestyle fits you, what you make time for. Thanks for the noodle-scratcher!! :)

    That soap looks good enough to eat! :)

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    1. I know Rain. I used to say it often myself. I blame and credit it all on aging. You reach a certain point and you notice all the things you did not accomplish, important or silly, and you look around and note, you're the one who made those choices. I also had the very busy very stressful corporate life where I suffered and my family suffered. Life is now calmer but I'm still not living in the present as I should. So, I shall keep checking your blog...for inspiration. :)

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  11. Definitely well said! I have recently come to the realization that instead of working to make a buck, I want to work to make a life. One that I enjoy, that blesses my Lord and those around me!

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    1. My years in hospice helped me tremendously. I did not attend a single funeral/wake where the coffin was filled with cash. Not a single one of us, gets to take it with us. I did see a Guinness bottle or two tucked in around the satin pillows, and some very nice rosaries.

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  12. I have just discovered your blog and today's post really spoke to me. Where can I get a 'bite me' flag? haha. When I was a child I would tell my mom I didn't have time and she would say, "you make time for that". Spend time wisely...how often have we heard that? Making something with my own two hands is spending wisely, as is receiving a handmade gift. As a soapmaker and spinner and knitter I make the time for those things. I am fortunate to be 'retired', meaning my time is my own and I resent anyone trying to take it like those stupid spam calls. I now get to say how I spend my time, and at my age every minute is precious. Yes, some chores must be done, but not with the pressure in the past. Your soap is beautiful and I know the time and creative effort you put into it. Now I am looking at time in a new way...thank you.

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    1. Good on your mom for that one. I have never learned to knit but envy those who make the time to do so. My aunts best friend, at age 95, knitted me a lovely throw and I will treasure it forever. And, like you, I am more aware everyday of how precious time is and when it comes down to cleaning or babysitting some gks (grandkids), I always choose the gks.

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  13. The luxury of retirement has afforded me more time to do things I choose, that being said, I seem to do less.....
    Not sure why, but I love just being home, the rushed mornings of jump up and go, no longer.
    I can spend all afternoon pulling weeds, or reading at leisure, lately spending time with our new great-granddaughter is top of my list.
    Your soap making and homesteading infatuate me, I can't imagine a beautiful gift of your soap, and not thanking you, genuinely.
    *Eyes rolling*.
    Hugs,
    ~Jo

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    1. I too love setting my own schedule. I tend to be a night person anyway and those decades where I worked day shift ripped holes in my nocturnal soul! Enjoy that ggk, I do hope to be about when my gk's have their own little ones as I plan to slather them with lots of time and sappy prose.

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  14. Oh man ! That sort of missing 'thank you' retort is a real bite your tongue moment,I feel it conveys 'simple minds find strange ways of amusing themselves ' really rather condescending and they will probably never be smart enough to 'get it '
    It's amazing how much your life changes for the better when you 'get it' and live accordingly.
    Making all the things here too and living all the joy ☺

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    1. In the past I would've bit that persons head off with no less showmanship than Ozzie and that bat, but today it does get a bit easier to just, oh I don't know, vent about it on my blog! Thanks for dropping in.

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  15. Brava! What pop's my cork is when people complain about 'no time', then proceed to go on and on about this, that and the next television series they're so addicted to that they have to record it and don't get me started about the 'binge watching'!

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    1. Me too. When I binge watch for example (Call the Midwife, Mad Men, The Detectorists) I am at least bright enough not to tell anyone. Opps. Guess I just did.

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    2. The difference here being that you don't complain you have no time!

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  16. This was a great rant, Donna, and kudos to you for many of the things you stated. We make time for what we enjoy and should not be made to feel badly about that. As you said we each get 24 hours in a day. That clod of a person who didn’t have the grace to simpky say thank you is undeserving of future gifts. And you were right on about the lack of personal accountability in children who see parents blaming others or the system for failures. I was not raised that way and think my parents did a great job.

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    1. Here's a mom story-Once when a sibling of mine came to her house and asked to borrow money, she slammed the door in that person's face and announced "The Bank of Mom is closed!" My mama knew how and when to cut the apron strings and she made all of us better parents with our own children.

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  17. This was a well-needed post. I took it as a sign from above to stop tinkering around with "fun" homesteading stuff and actually clean my house today. Cause it was starting to look like a meth den.

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    1. Meth den. Love that. I too hit the rooms of our circular trash bin, I mean grain bin, just last night. I made the time to suck up four years worth of dust bunnies. Enough to craft a pseudo-down quilt I believe.

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    2. OMG! You have years of accumulated dust bunnies, too? I thought I was the only one....not that I cared. It is just nice to find a kindred spirit. (heh).

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    3. Love The Detectorists!! Everyone else has said everything I was already thinking, so I'll just say you ROCK!!

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  18. thank you to remind me about using "words"
    greeting- evi erlinda

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    1. I know what you mean. Can't tell you how many times the words that came out of my mouth got me in trouble.

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  19. I must be doing this wrong, because I set my own schedule and yet don´t seem to get anything done. The house is a wreck, my knitting and soap haven´t been touched in months (going on years), I have a stack of books I haven´t read, and anything I manage to do outside when it´s not pouring rain the dogs dig through and destroy within minutes. I want to cry a lot.

    But we do eat well, so there´s that, along with stacks of dirty dishes. And I guess I find time to follow excellent bloggers!

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    1. I can relate. Many days it seems all I do is cook and clean up cook and clean up and then of course eat a lot in between.

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  20. Nothing worse than giving someone a gift (either handmade, or going out of your way, to buy something unique) and the recipient makes it sound like there's something wrong with your process. When really, a gift is just an act of generosity. It shouldn't require a justification process.

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    1. I was thinking I'd attach a disclaimer to my homemade gifts. "Caution: Homemade Gift Attached. May cause feelings of inadequacy. Please engage mouth before speaking"

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  21. Donna, you really found a hot button! It was a great awakening moment for me when I finally figured out that "I don't have the time" actually means "I don't want to." We all find the time for things we want to do. The "somebody must have time" to receiving a handcrafted gift is downright rude! Excellent rant.

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    1. It really was a fun one wasn't it? And the "I Don't Want to" would make a great T-shirt, as in "I thought about making you a homemade gift but I didn't want to" Honesty can be so hysterical.

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  22. Oh my God, Woman. You talk like I think and I do love it! Glad to have discovered your blog. The two posts I read were great fun. Hope to return many times. Any chance you can add a Subscribe by Email feature. That is how I prefer to get my posts - dropped into my gmail box. That way I don't miss any of the posts.

    Regardless, happy to have found you.

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Comments are good, as long as you're a real person and not some goof telling me how you were cured of hepatitis by snorting a pulverized neon blue crayon. Your comments don't even have to agree with my viewpoint, I love a good discussion, but civility does matter.