Thursday, June 13, 2013

What Constitutes "Too Much Time On Your Hands"?

Have you ever read a book that you thought was okay, maybe even pretty good, and then just one line ruined the whole thing for you to the point you just couldn't continue?

Well, I've had that experience. I picked up a book on homeschooling at the library. I thought it might have some good tips on organization and at first, as I skimmed through a bit, it did get me thinking a bit and doing some self-evaluation. That part was good. But then I skimmed to a part today where it talked about not having enough time and having too much time on our hands.

Want to know what was, in her opinion, evidence of having too much time on your hands?

Reading at least 5 or 6 books per month.


I went back and reread the heading of the section to make sure I was understanding properly. No, no, I had not misunderstood. If you are reading 5 or 6 books per month, you are, apparently, not managing your time well, or not making the most of it or something.

I find myself just shocked. Stunned. How can reading 5 or 6 books per month be excessive? When I'm in a good groove for managing time and there's not a lot of chaos being thrown my way, I can easily read a book in a weekend, and then I'll do maybe 30 minutes of reading before bed each night. I sneak in reading when I have to wait, like afterschool as I wait for my nephew to arrive at my nieces' school (I have a 20-minute wait each day!) 5 to 6 books per month is something I can pull off and still be crazy busy.

I know people who say we ought to be reading a couple of books per week--focusing on books that motivate us, inspire us, educate us. That would be 8+ books per month. And yet, if we manage that, we apparently have too much time on our hands. She does not specify "novels" and "non-fiction", simply "books." I feel all discombobulated with the very idea.

She also said if you were watching 2+ hours of TV per day, you've got too much time on your hands. I do tend to watch 2+ hours of TV per day--about 2.5 hours when all is said and done. I relax with my kids in front of a couple of shows or have a movie on while I'm doing other things, like working on my taxes or making cards or planning my day or week or sorting through a box of stuff that needs decluttering. When I'm not exhausted, I'm typically doing something else at the same time, but not always; it's nice to just sit and enjoy the break from the intensity. Is 2 hours per day truly that excessive? She went so far as to proclaim that if you knew what had been talked about on talk shows all this afternoon, you'd definitely been watching too much! What if you were watching shows while folding laundry? Cutting out things for your kids' school stuff? What if you'd simply been sick that day?

This completely threw me for a loop and left me so discombobulated, I just don't even want to read any more of the book. It's one thing to tell people to be aware of where their time is going and is that how they want to be spending it, and quite another to be telling people that if they're managing to read a decent amount, they've got too much time in their hands! Isn't it?

Except now I'm feeling guilty for the time I'm spending on the computer typing up a blog post and relaxing with some FB games...

1 comment:

  1. Yes, we apparently have waaay too much time on our hands, lol. Oh my. I have a stack of at least 6 books that I'm reading at the same time! That must mean that I'm a 'do nothing' sort of person :). If previewing books for our kids counts then I'm absolutely a lazy bum with so much extra free time on my hands because of aaalll the books I read. This is all said tongue-in-cheek, of course. Take the good from book, leave the bad, eh?