I committed myself to be engaged in life, not just busy. That is one of my bumper stickers for my retirement.
I try to find a balance that works for me.
One way I can tell the difference is by what I share with others. Usually, when I’m engaged, I want to talk with others about what I did. When I’m busy, the activity is lost in the minutia of my life. It is usually not shared.
The ‘busy’ time seems to happen in spurts, such as the last few days before a library book is due. Or my favourite bike race fills up most of my Julys.
The Tour de France annual July bike race finished last month, and I reflected on why I love watching that event so much. My interest is out of character.
The event was started because of the rivalry between two French newspapers. One of them adopted the marketing plan of a multi-day bike race across France to build readership.
So, in 1903 the first race took place, and readership doubled. Now, the local towns and cities the race passes through are shut down for the race. The local festive atmosphere sets in, preceded by months of planning. Over 500 contractors are hired to handle road barriers, signposts, and erect stages over the 3 weeks of the race.
Fortunately, my wife also enjoys this viewing hobby. It started after we took a tour of Normandy. That year the race went through Juno Beach. When we were back home, we heard about what we had just missed and watched some race highlights, looking for sights we could recognize. We didn’t see any but found a bike race that enthralled us.
We now spend about 4 hours each day of the race in July, just being busy. It is thrilling, surprising, and historically informative. Imagine a 3-week race across the lowlands and the alps, in all kinds of weather and having the top 2 riders go across the finish line with a total race time separated but mere seconds.
Please give this a bit of a think. Identify one block of time you consider as ‘time well wasted.’ It really didn’t accomplish anything. Nobody is better off – but oh, such fun. And also, think of a block of time when you are feeling strongly engaged. You can’t wait to share that experience with others.
I’m curious about your thoughts. Please leave your comment.
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