The Time We Waste

So this might end up being more of a rant directed at myself. But I’m sure you’ll be able to relate.

It’s 9:30, and my self-imposed schedule says I should be in bed in half an hour. But I also owe myself an Artist’s Date. If you read last week’s post you’ll know I’m doing The Artist’s Way, a 12-week program to promote one’s creativity. Part of that involves weekly dates for your inner artist child. It has been doing really well on that front up until this week. For a reason I can pin point pretty well (ie Dark Souls is way too good), my creativity has been giving way to playing video games. Case in point, I was meant to spend this night nourishing my inner artist, a self-conscious little girl who has been really on edge lately. Or maybe it’s the rest of me that’s on edge and I’m taking it out on my artist child. But I just spent the last 2 hours playing games. I already spent like 3 or 4 hours playing games today. Why did I need more? Is Dark Souls just THAT good? Can that be considered my artist’s date? I should decide what constitutes an artist’s date. Right? That’s the whole point.

Just yesterday I did a Task for the Artist’s Way which asked me to list 10 ways in which I am mean to myself. The first two I wrote are:

-Reprimanding myself for relaxing
-Reprimanding myself for eating

“Good lord!” you might say. “What an idiot! People need food and relaxation, it’s part of survival! Pretty basic shit Travis get it together.” Right? And yet, here I am, eating dates, and celery and challah with hummus, reprimanding myself for doing these things. In case you’re worried, I know I’m being an idiot, and I’ve cracked open a beer at this point in order to reinforce that what I’m doing is okay and I should not be ashamed for doing what I want to do when I should be relaxing, god damn it.

So… is there a point to all this? Sure, I’ll make one. One thing I want to point out is: we are the time we waste. Partly. We are also the work we do and who we spend time with. We are what we do. But wasting time is an important part of what we do, if you ask me, so we want to do it WELL. Playing Dark Souls*, if you ask any gamer worth her salt, is a fantastic way to waste time. As a game designer, I’m learning all sorts of things that only Dark Souls can teach me, so really, it’s not a WASTE of time. But I also spent a fair chunk of time playing Smash Bros† online. I have already spent countless hours playing Smash Bros and stand to learn little from it. Time more objectively wasted, then. If Dark Souls is just as restful for me as Smash Bros, why not excise Smash Bros from my activity calendar? It’s true I get bored of Dark Souls once in a while, but I have tens of other games I could play instead. Or I could go for a bike ride. Like I had planned to for my artist’s date.

You know, I think I might just do that. My legs are itching and I’m full of sugar from all those dates.

Thanks for reading. Waste your time well.


*Dark Souls in a nutshell: One of the hardest games ever, according to gamers everywhere. You are an undead adventurer in a hostile world of zombies, skeletons, demons, and dragons. Everything fucking kills you. Over and over and over. It’s awesome.

†Smash Bros in a nutshell: Nintendo’s best battle it out in a 2D platformer fighting game. Online, 5 minute matches can be played in rapid succession, grinding time away to nothing.


5 thoughts on “The Time We Waste

  1. I don’t think I read this one when you posted it, Trav. When I hear that you’re berating yourself for wasting time, I can’t help but think that it’s my voice in your head that you’re hearing. At the risk of making this “all about me”, maybe you should talk to that voice as though it were me, but you’re no longer 8 years old and you can tell me to jump in the lake. You get to make your own choices now about how to spend your time, (and what to eat) and you do need some down time, preferably guilt-free. In retrospect, I realize that with me telling you when to stop playing all those years ago, you didn’t get a chance to realize when you’d had enough and become a more self-regulating entity. Believe me when I tell you that parenthood is not an exact science and it doesn’t come with a manual. Having the right perspective in every parenting situation is impossible. Unfortunately we all have to live with our parents’ mistakes and learn to work around the affect they had on us. I’m happy to see that you’re becoming more in tune with what’s right for you, including your inner (artist) child. If I can be of any help, you know my number. Love Mom xoxo


    1. Hey Ma,

      I certainly don’t blame you for any of my problems. Even if you were the sole cause of all my problems I wouldn’t begrudge you for it. Well… maybe but that isn’t the case! If you ask any of my friends how I talk about you I’m like “My mom is awesome!” This post in particular is part of my process to become, as you say, in tune with what’s right for me. To show you my progress: last night I spent the whole evening playing a video game! It was super fun and felt awesome. I made myself some [healthyish but delicious] snacks and had a grand ol’ “artist night in.” ^_^


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s