Wasting Time

Is this wasting time?

Time is precious. For a long time, I didn’t believe time passed quickly.  An hour of elementary school seemed like 24 hours of my life today. The late poet, Richard Brautigan described it best:

I remember all those thousands of hours
that I spent in grade school watching the clock,
waiting for recess or lunch or to go home.
Waiting: for anything but school.
My teachers could easily have ridden with Jesse James
for all the time they stole from me.

Now time has picked up speed. After my mother died and I became next up at bat, so to speak, I began to take life more seriously. I started thinking about not wasting whatever time I have left. There are so many things we do that don’t help anyone, don’t enrich our lives, just fritter the hours away. I vowed to make nearly every moment count.

So why, oh why am I spending precious hours every day playing Words With Friends? I could be learning Spanish, working on my novel-in-not-much-progress, reorganizing closets—practically anything but trying to beat my friends with Words. The majority of my playmates aren’t even friends in the usual sense. They’re people I have never met and never will. We exchange an occasional sentence remarking on strategy or vocabulary. There’s nothing personal or creepy about it. Oddly, though, they feel like friends because we spend so much time online together.

The real question is, am I wasting my time? What’s wrong with a game that requires a reasonably good vocabulary, a little strategic knowhow and the opportunity for an hour (or two, seldom three) of relaxation every day? As Robert Reich would ask, “What do you think?” If it’s relaxing, enjoyable and not harming anyone, is it a waste of precious time to play computer games? I’d love to hear from you.



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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