Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time, a precious resource

Now that I have a (more) regular internet connection, I realize that being mostly offline for the past couple of months might have limited me in many things, but it sure saved me quite a bit of time.

Time is our most precious resource at home, and there are so many things that are potential time-guzzlers: TV, the internet, untimely long phone calls and visits. That is why we must be constantly on guard, in particular during hectic seasons such as Pesach cleaning, during which it always seems there aren’t enough hours in a day anyway (to me, it seems so even in seasons without Pesach so close ahead :o).

Personally I don’t have a TV at home, but with the internet I must be very careful. That is why I’m writing this post, purposefully, in a Word document, without opening a web browser. I know I’m prone to go online “only for a minute” to check my emails, and then it’s “only for a minute” to check my blog, or to look up a recipe, and then I end up browsing recipes for hours, or watching a documentary about medieval history – which is of course fascinating, but not strictly related to what I ought to be doing at the moment.

I wrote about this before, how in my opinion all the wonderful (and I mean it – wonderful) modern conveniences – washing machines, cellular phones, the internet – created the expectation that we are supposed to be a) always available, b) accomplish more, more and more.

I can hardly doubt people in the past worked much more strenuously than we do today, but I still think the stress levels were lower. For example, if a woman had to grow her own wheat, grind her own flour and bake her own bread all the time, it could be hardly expected of her to throw a three-course meal every day. I think that in such conditions, a humble slice of bread with some cheese would be considered a good dinner on most occasions. Does it mean I would want to be dependent on growing my own wheat, grinding my own flour, etc? Probably not. Just a point to think about how our time tends to get filled up.

Or when people went by on horseback or donkeys, no one could be expected to dash about here and there, to several places every day, which happens all the time today, and which is extremely stressful. And when letters went slowly, people weren’t caught up in a flurry of emails which they were expected to reply to within a day or two, nor in commenting on the Facebook accounts of people they hardly know.

So, practically, what do I plan to do now that I have internet connection again? To use it sparingly, purposefully, and chiefly for things that benefit our family. To keep it a tool, not a time-spender.  

8 comments:

Shorty said...

I can totally relate to the internet being a time waster. A quick check ends up being easily a couple of hours of random browsing.

Rose said...

Excellent thoughts Anna. I spend maybe an hour a day (in three bursts) on the computer often glancing up at the time in the right hand corner so that I don't spend more time here. Every so often I surf the Web for a pre-determined couple of hours. I've been through the time wasting and have put the brakes on. Best wishes as always.

Katie V. said...

What wonderful thoughts! Thank you for this reminder Anna! Discipline and internet are not the likeliest of friends! The internet is a total time waster and I'm guilty! And yes, in and out of the house, going here and there - stressful - on mom, on the children. As my husband says - a stay at home mom means staying at home. I find when we do that, the home runs more smoothyly. What's hard, is there is a need to socialize with like-minded people, and sometimes you have drive a little bit to reach them. I find it requires good organization and not overdoing it. But children love their home and love routine! As for the TV, good for you! We took the TV out a few months ago and what a difference. Out of sight, out of thought! God bless!

Anonymous said...

You are right.I'm older now (63) and live alone, so I have more time for the internet etc, but I'm glad that I didn't have it when I was raising my children, had a husband and a house to look after. I was a stay-at-home mom, for which I am very grateful. Your blog is very interesting, and I enjoy reading it.
Your ideas of homemaking etc are very much like mine. Keep up the good work! Yvette from Canada

music_melody18 said...

"I know I’m prone to go online “only for a minute” to check my emails, and then it’s “only for a minute” to check my blog, or to look up a recipe, and then I end up browsing recipes for hours, or watching a documentary about medieval history – which is of course fascinating, but not strictly related to what I ought to be doing at the moment."

This is usually my problem which I am currently working on. It's nice to discover a lot through internet but time is a need to consider as well. Thanks for sharing this!

Emily Rosenfeld said...

I, too, struggle with the double-edged sword of the internet and other modern "conveniences." Just because I can answer my cell phone doesn't mean I need to, and just because I want to tune out on the web doesn't mean I should. Thanks for your thoughtful post. Now I'm turning my computer off! ;-)

Kassie said...

Anna,

I can relate to this post as well! I could spend all day reading blogs if I let myself. But over the past few months I've transitioned to using the internet mostly just for things we need to do. First is my husband's school, which I help out with. Secondly my side business, and finally in a bit of spare time, reading blogs or researching things that interest me.

honeyfromflintyrocks said...

Thank you Mrs. T. for another timely reminder that I am accountable to the Lord for how I spend my time!

I too think, "Oh, it will only take a minute to check my email, and then quickly my blog for comments". The next thing I know I have been on the computer for hours, school had not been started and I am still in my jammies! NOT the kind of training I want my young man to emulate to be sure.

I have taken steps to limit my computer time. I have been quite pleased at all I have gotten done around the house when I am not 'wasting my time' on the computer!
Blessings,
~Mrs. R