Appreciating Time Category Explained:

Mary Wilon says there is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it.

I have chosen articles for this section from writers who agree with me, such as:

“No matter how the die is cast
Nor who may seem to win,
You know that you must love at last --
Why not begin?”

Witter Bynne, “To Any One” 
From Rittenhouse,
Jessie B.
The Second Book of Modern Verse
New York: 1919


Whether the time be slow or fast,

Enemies, hand in hand,
Must come together at the last
And understand.

No matter how the die is cast
Nor who may seem to win,
You know that you must love at last --
Why not begin?

Ecclesiastes 9:11

Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

Henry David Thoreau,  A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
New York: Scribner, 1921
Pages 76-7

August - 1839 -- Yet, after all, the really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure, and then but do what he loves best. He is anxious only about the fruitful kernels of time. Though the hen should sit all day, she could lay only one egg, and, besides, would not have picked up materials for another.

David Stein, The Catholic Agitator
May 1994
Quoted on Page 71 of the July/August 1994 issue of The Other Side


Cult of Efficiency “I have shunned the efficient mode of making things and instead perform all the stages of the work myself one object at a time. No single step is too burdensome, because it is inseparably linked to all the other steps. The result is that I am not very ‘productive.’ Another very curious result of my inefficiency is that I love my work.”

A Chinese Garden of Serenity
Mount Vernon, New York

Page 39

WHETHER time is long or short, and whether space is broad or narrow, depend upon the mind. Those whose minds are at leisure can feel one day as long as a millennium, and those whose thought is expansive can perceive a small house to be as spacious as the universe.

Leonard, George Burr.  The Transformation
U.S.A.: 1972

Page 155

Once a few years back I flew from New York to San Francisco feeling a joy and exuberance I could barely restrain. I had been involved in a project that had seemed unlikely if not impossible of success and yet had succeeded beyond my highest expectations. It was one of those moments when all things, including dancing in the aisles, seem possible. My companions on the flight were a man in his thirties and a woman in her early twenties, both good friends. Not long after takeoff the three of us managed to squeeze into the two seats on the left of the aisle.

Gabor Salamon., es Zalotay Melinda.  Stop the World! I Want to Get Off.
Alfoldi Nyomda Rt., Debrecen 1995
ISBN 9637943668

Page 94

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it.

--Mary Wilson

Eudora Seyfer, “The joys of puttering - Puttering renews the soul and inspires creativity.
from the August 23, 2007 edition
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0823/p18s02-hfes.html

Have you noticed? Puttering has almost disappeared from modern life. There was a time when it was permissible to say, "I'm just going to stay home today and putter." And there you were, snug and smug, puttering around your house all day. But a whole generation is growing up unaware of the joys of puttering. From kindergarten on, children are prejudiced against puttering by the feelings of guilt our culture heaps upon anyone who is not constantly accomplishing, producing, excelling, endeavoring, earning, competing or winning.

Karen Finley, Procrastinate
New York, 1993
ISBN 067187182X


The gentle art of procrastination is to enjoy putting off accomplishing something while people are waiting and calling. The pleasure is in having people wait for you. It is such a wonderful feeling to know people are waiting for us to finish, to start, to make a decision. Procrastinators will eventually accomplish the task. But time will pass and the deadline will be over and other work will just pile up.

Modern efficiency vs. one task at a time
By Marilyn Gardner
TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2001


The ability to do several things at once has become one of the great measures of self-worth for 21st-century Americans. It’s called multitasking, and it takes many forms.


As one example, why go out to lunch when you can eat at your desk, talk (or at least half-listen) to a client on the phone, scroll through your e-mail, and scan a memo simultaneously? And why simply work out on a treadmill when you could be watching television and talking on a portable phone at the same time? What a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment - three activities for the time commitment of one! Ah, such efficiency.

Bass, Dorothy C.  Receiving the Day.
San Francisco: Jossey - Bass, 2000
ISBN 0787942871

Page 3

Busy people may think that what we need is a few more open boxes on the pages of our datebooks. But in fact that would provide only a flat and short-lived remedy, and not only because those boxes soon fill up like all the others. What we really need is time of a different quality.

We need the kind of time that is measured in a yearly round of feasts and fasts, in a life span that begins when a new-born is placed in her parents’ arms, and in a day that ends and begins anew as a line of darkness creeps across the edge of the earth.

Kingwell, Mark. “Warning: The Topic Today is Boredom.”
Adbusters Autumn 98
Page 63-4

The culture in which we live is not one that happily tolerates boredom. The culture fears boredom, hates it. It banishes boredom in a growing firestorm of aural and visual excitement. But because our human brains are flexible sponges of neuronfiring wetware, we can take more and more stimulation all the time even if the price of that expansion of volume is the decline of substance, and desire. The imperative here is an ever-rising scale of stimulation, a special-effects arms race.

Easwaran, Eknath.  Take Your Time: Finding Balance in a Hurried World.
New York: 1994
ISBN 0786862211

Page 42

Make wise choices about what you read: read only what is worthwhile. And then take the time to read carefully. I like to read slowly and with complete attention; I don’t even like background music or a cup of coffee at my side.

And when I reach the end of a chapter or a section, I close the book and reflect on what I have read. I would much rather read one good book with concentration and understanding than to skim through a list of best-sellers which I will not remember and which will have no effect on my life or my understanding of life. One book read with concentration and reflected upon is worth a hundred books flashed through without any absorption at all.

Brand, Stewart.  Time and Responsibility.
New York: 1999
ISBN 046504512X

Pages 34 and 83

In recent years a few scientists (such as R.V. O'Neill and C.S. Holling) have been probing a similar issue in ecological systems: How do they manage change, and how do they absorb and incorporate shocks? The answer appears to lie in the relationship between components in a system that have different change rates and different scales of size. Instead of breaking under stress like something brittle these systems yield as if they were malleable. Some parts respond quickly to the shock, allowing slower parts to ignore the shock and maintain their steady duties of system continuity.

Pierce, Linda Breen. Simplicity.
U. S. A.: 2000
ISBN 0967206715

Page 23

If materialism is addictive, so is our desire for productivity and efficiency. We are constantly trying to milk the most out of each minute of the day -- on the phone while doing something else (like driving), driving instead of walking, reading the newspaper while eating breakfast, watching TV while helping our kids with their homework. Our love affair with productivity and efficiency generates busy, chattering minds.

Earl Martin,  From Day 5 of the Trek Program from the Mennonite Central Committee
1997

David Schrock-Shenk, Project Coordinator

Sometimes I am tempted to think if I could accumulate a sufficient nest egg, I could relax and have time for what I consider the important things in life: quality time with friends and family, or service with folks who have experienced hard times, I have an unsettling feeling some fallacy lies hidden in this logic, that I am missing some liberating paradox of biblical proportions. A story of Anthony de Mello, the priest from India, reminds me of that paradox.

Baldwin, Bruce A. Ph. D.  It’s All In Your Head.
Wilmington: Direction Dynamics 1985

Page 152

Here are a number of strategies to help you get started in the difficult process of psychologically slowing down. You may think of other techniques as you become more involved in reversing your Hurry Sickness.

a. Catch Yourself. Fix your hurrying tendencies so well in mind that your are aware of them every time you begin to rush around. At first you won’t always catch yourself, but you will soon get better with practice. You will also learn how to slow down quickly when you find yourself in high gear.

Kabat-Zinn, Jon.,  Wherever You Go, There You Are
New York, 1994: ISBN1562827693
Page 39

It reeks of paradox.

The only way you can do anything of value is to have the effort come out of non-doing and to let go of caring whether it will be of use or not. Otherwise, self-involvement and greediness can sneak in and distort your relationship to the work, or the work itself, so that it is off in some way, biased, impure, and ultimately not completely satisfying, even if it good. Good scientists know this mind state and guard against it because it inhibits the creative process and distorts one’s ability to see connections clearly.