Tonight I spoke about time management to a group of my Phi Mu sisters in Troy. The room was filled with beautiful bright girls who were kind enough to stay awake as I spoke. Driving home, I started thinking of a new kind of time management...and made a mental list of time expended in my life that now - at 46 - I would certainly like to have back. At the time, it seemed ridiculously important, but as they say...hindsight is 20/20.
First of all, I'd like the hours I spent sitting through Weight Watchers meetings beginning in 1977 through 2009. Granted, I actually achieved goal weight once...in 1987...but I can probably stand up there and teach any given lesson...because they never change. The delivery is different, but the message is this..."quit eating like you are in some kind of serious denial because you are going to eventually be unable to move." I mean...it is might address denial one week and movement the next, but whatever. I can say that I have learned to eat a minimal amount of salad dressing through the years and I do now actually prefer water. But the drama of getting on the scale, of weighing and measuring everything...and mustering up enthusiasm over a half pound weight loss after a week of deprivation? I'm so over it.
I'd love to have back the time I spent learning the dances in the movie "Saturday Night Fever", the "Thriller" video, and in the heinous Modern Dance class that I took at Troy my junior year. I made an "A" because the lady obviously was watching the other two girls in my group...and not me. Let's just say that I accepted that any dancing I did from that point forward falls squarely into the "white girl" camp...with a heavy undertone of spastic. A friend's son asked me to dance at a wedding last October. I knew he was being kind. But there were entirely too many cameras in the vicinity, and I just couldn't risk it.
Next would be the time I spent listening to people madly in love with their problems. Those people who just want someone...ANYONE...to repeat their mantra to...but have absolutely no intention of doing anything to change it. One particular friend had more drama on her own than every other person I knew at the time...combined. I don't mean to be unkind...but there are some times that it is just imperative that we hire a licensed professional. Hope she did.
I'd also like to have the hours back that I spent getting to know people that my children have dated. Granted, I've learned a lot along the way...but a couple of them took a piece of my heart with them, and I don't have time for the mourning period after they leave. I declared a while back that I refused to get attached to any of them, and I've pretty much stuck with that. The funny thing is...I end up meeting not only the ones that make the grade...but the ones that don't. At least life is interesting.
I'd also like to have the time back when I used to complain about being bored. I haven't been bored since 1982. I miss it.
The time that I spent in the tanning bed in 1997 was obviously wasted. As was most of the time in the gym from 1997-2007. I won't even go into the vegetarian phase that I went through for three years after reading a Tony Robbins book.
I would also like to have back the time I spent driving around in parking lots because I was too lazy to walk. If I'd actually walked, I probably could have saved the time in Weight Watchers. Great. Or the phase I went through listening to the Linkin Park Live in Texas CD because one of Jill's guy friends told me I'd like it. I did. Obsessively. I still scare people that A) I actually like this music and B) I know the words.
Oh well. Sometimes you win...sometimes you learn.
I guess the truth is...we all try to do the best we can with the information that we have and invest our time accordingly. Sadly, we sometimes don't get a return on our investment. But sometimes, we get far more than we expect and defintely more than we deserve.
Tonight I don't know if anyone in that room got anything practical out of the time I invested. Frankly, I don't need to know. But I do know that I certainly got something out of it. I got to laugh with my friend Pam who totally cracks me up and I realized that somewhere I passed through a quarter of a century ago is still in good hands. And that alone was worth the trip.