I read somewhere recently that most time is wasted not in hours but in minutes. I can attest to that, for I have become quite adept lately at frittering away minute after lazy minute until entire days have disappeared–and often I have nothing more to show for those lost days than a dent in the sofa cushion and an uncanny ability to quote The Andy Griffith Show. (My current favorite: “I hate the outdoors. When I go out in the sun, I get the herpes.”)
If my calculations are correct (and I believe they are), then there are 525,600 minutes in a year–and I’m pretty sure that in the past year I have wasted at least half of them. And while I’ve been wasting all those precious minutes, the world has kept right on sputtering and spinning, often without my involvement or even my notice. Sure, every ticking minute has its share of ho-hum, hum-drum monotony that really isn’t deserving of much attention anyway, but every minute also offers beautiful, magnificent, joy-filled happenings that can brighten someone’s world–and dark, tragic, heart-breaking calamities that can destroy someone else’s.
Have you ever stopped to consider that right now, right this minute . . .
Someone is rummaging through a dumpster, looking for discarded food to give to his hungry children (while I rummage through over-stuffed cabinets looking for just the right junk food to satisfy my boredom).
Someone is drawing his last shuddering breath while gathered loved ones weep.
Someone else is defiantly clinging to life from a hospital bed because she dared to believe she had a right to an education.
Someone is putting the finishing touches on what will soon be a best-selling novel (while I waste three hours of my morning watching The Today Show and wondering why I can’t get anything done).
Someone is thinking about kissing that pretty girl for the first time, thinking about touching her face, thinking about the love and beauty that shine through her eyes. And that same someone is hoping that pretty girl just might be thinking the same things about him.
Someone is giving birth to a child who will change the world in amazing ways. Someone else is aborting a child who would have changed the world in amazing ways.
Someone is being awakened by a middle-of-the-night phone call and is whispering a quick prayer before picking up the phone.
Someone is polishing off her fifth chocolate chip cookie and will soon be wondering why she can’t lose weight (and yes, that someone might be me).
Someone is giving everything she has for the benefit of others, and even though it isn’t enough–and even though it isn’t appreciated–she won’t stop giving because she knows in her heart that it’s the right thing to do.
Someone is succumbing to the irresistible danger of deleting a chain email without forwarding it.
Someone is trembling with dread and anxiety because she hears the anger building in her husband’s voice, and she knows that blinding pain is soon to follow. And yet, she still believes that he loves her, that this will be the last time, and that somehow this is all her fault anyway.
Someone is making cruel, hateful remarks about her neighbor in front of her listening children–and that same someone later will wonder how anyone could accuse her children of being bullies.
Someone is hearing a doctor say “cancer” for the first time and is feeling the ceiling crashing and the walls closing in.
Someone is making a bad decision that will affect the rest of his life. Someone else is making the same bad decision and will suffer no ill consequences.
Someone is missing an opportunity to connect with the warm, beautiful person sitting across from her because the messages on her cellphone can’t wait.
Someone is deleting an important file on his computer but won’t realize what he’s done until tomorrow.
Someone is coloring outside the lines for the very first time in her long life and discovering she likes it (in fact, she likes it a lot).
Someone is throwing caution to the wind and licking cake batter off the beaters. Someone else is being even more daring and eating raw cookie dough.
Someone is making the foolish decision to run to the post office in her pajamas because she’s just certain she won’t see anyone she knows at this hour.
Someone is being an arrogant jerk just because he can–and someone else is plotting sneaky, anonymous little ways to annoy that arrogant jerk.
Someone is being judged because of his skin color, his religion, his ethnicity. Someone else is being judged because of her gender, her sexual orientation, her body piercings. And someone else is judging herself–her hips are too big, her breasts are too small, her nose is too long, her legs are too short (while someone else thinks she’s perfect just the way she is).
Someone is tripping on his own two feet and looking behind him as if some previously unseen obstacle was surely in his path.
Someone is walking around with his pants unzipped. (Is it you? Seriously, you might want to check . . . )
Someone is realizing that airing her dirty laundry on Facebook might not have been such a good idea after all. A few million someone elses haven’t figured that out yet.
Someone is cursing and threatening a teacher because of his child’s failing grade. And it’s probably the same someone who thinks teachers don’t deserve a pay raise because they already make too much money.
Someone is buying a burger at Hardees because of its racy commercials–and someone else is vowing never to eat at Hardees again for the very same reason.
Someone is getting a misspelled tattoo.
Someone is watching his family’s home being swept down a flooded creek bed because the rains won’t stop, while someone else is watching her second child die of hunger in her arms because the rains won’t come.
Someone is making a midnight trek to the bathroom and stepping on a Lego in the dark.
Someone is sacrificing her self-esteem to beg for a forgiveness that will not be granted.
And someone is reading the final page of Fifty Shades of Grey and wondering what all the fuss was about (and someone else is wondering if people really do that–and holy cow–that!).
And this someone just realized if she can put down the chocolate chip cookies long enough to hoist herself out of the dented sofa cushion to look for the remote, she might be able to squeeze in a few minutes with Andy and Barney before her husband wakes up and she has to pretend to be productive.
Minutes are wasting.
And because time spent on my photography is never wasted time, here are a few recent additions . . . to see a larger version, just click on it. (And, as always, please don’t copy my work without my permission.)
Fourth of July fireworks over Bull Shoals Lake . . .
More fireworks . . .