I’m reading Charles Dickens’s Dombey and Son right now. It is a very long book. Most likely I will still be reading it this time next week. And reading a very long book highlights how little time a person really has. Actually, it’s not even about time. It’s about brainpower. I have more time than I use productively. I’m not reading right now, for instance. But when I say ‘time’ just think ‘useable brainpower’ and I think we’ll understand each other.
I also just finished a project I’ve been working on for four months (drafting and editing another YA novel) and I told myself I’d buy myself something I wanted if that happened. I thought about buying a tablet, but then I was like, what would I do on it? Watch TV? Play games? Read? I already have a number of screens I can stare into when I need to be occupied.
Then I considered buying a Kindle subscription to the Economist. My family got the Economist as a kid and I used to find it really informative. No other magazine covers foreign news with quite their precision and detail. Basically, the Economist is the only way I’ll ever find out what’s going on in Guinea-Bisseau.
But when I opted in to the sample subscription, I just felt this overwhelming sense of frustration. I don’t have the time to read this magazine. It’ll just pile up like everything else.
And most things are the same. They require time to use. It made me wonder: what can I buy in order to make my life easier? I recently bought this two-foot long shoehorn, and it was a great purchase. It’s so much easier to get into and out of my shoes. That was a purchase that saved me time. And it was only seven dollars. Those are the kinds of things I really ought to be buying from now.