Monday, November 13, 2006

Time keeps ticking...ticking away

I've always been the sort of person who gets caught between being and doing. I know how to waste time better than many people, but I hate doing it. I feel diminished somehow when I'm not being productive. Now, I don't consider reading wasted time. I don't consider meditation or prayer wasted time. Those both contribute to larger goals. There are other things that serve a purpose in my life though that still invoke guilt feelings over the time I give them. Writing this blog is one. Writing here is different from writing offline. I know that I'll get some sort of immediate feedback, and I love that, but I let the feedback be more important than the writing itself. When my priorities get messed up like that, guilt kicks in.

It takes me a long time to get ready to go public. I live in an area where women put on lipstick to go to the grocery store, and I'm regarded as a serious rebel in some quarters for daring to hit Wal-Mart with a bare face. Work means donning the full attire, gel, hairspray, makeup, nail polish, and those abominable hose. It takes me forty-five minutes just to blow dry my hair. Doing everything from shower to leaving the door looking the way I'm expected to look means an hour and a half. It's essential, but it still feels like wasted time. After 30 years of using makeup and such, I still haven't found a way to cut it any shorter, and I want to strangle women who say they can get ready in five minutes. I hate that I've let myself get stuck in expectations of how a woman is supposed to look, and I love the way I look when I use all the goop. The skills I use to do my job are the same with or without makeup, but without it, I'm just not seen as capable. It aggravates every feminist cell of my being, and I still won't give the stuff up. It's the conflict that makes the time it takes feel wasted.

Time is not something I can command, despite my best effort with a Palm z22, Daytimer and ongoing lists. I need to feel like my life is moving towards something. I can't stand the idea of meaninglessness, and I know that I'm too small of a creature to have the perspective to see the meaning here. Not knowing what the meaning is, I just have to believe that it's there. All the organization tools though help me see that I haven't forgotten that there is meaning. That meeting with a client is good productive time where I'm being helpful. Helpfulness lines up with my identity. It feels meaningful. That research time that takes 15 phone calls that sound like I'm just bs-ing for a good part contributes to my sense of being knowledgeable. The bs is just a tool I use to get the information I need, so it's not wasted time.

The doing needs to contribute to or underscore my being to feel like I'm not wasting time and so my life. The trick is knowing myself well enough to know what's truly worth doing, and that self knowledge takes time not doing anything that feels productive. Life on the crest of a paradox mandates a healthy sense of humor.


Blogger alphawoman said...

I waste so much time, (like right now sitting in front of the keyboard instead of drying my hair), that it is a sin. I found this woderful make-up that you can put on in seconds called Bare Essentials. It is so easy, fast and perfect. I know exactly what you mean about being made up to go into Walmart!! Must be a Southern thing. I use big sunglasses when I'm feeling lazy! HA!

November 14, 2006 4:55 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Well, I have become a pure rebel. I no longer put on makeup unless its a day I WANT to put on makeup. Best of everything!

November 14, 2006 6:19 AM  
Blogger Nelle said...

I live in an area where most women are from New York. They wear heels with jeans sometimes and you are judged by the size of your diamond rings and your designer bag. I could care less. On a day I feel really good I throw on blush and mascara and lipstick. That takes me less than 5 mins. Not saying I do an expert job mind you. LOL Often I pull my hair into a pony tail, wash my face and go out just like that. Wearing flip flops. For work I do have to dress up and I do but on my days off it's a different story. I'm wearing my purple NOW. :)

November 14, 2006 8:48 AM  

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