Right Now, Someone Somewhere

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.)  

hibiscus5Hibiscus bud . . .

alley springAlley Spring . . .


Fourth of July fireworks over Bull Shoals Lake . . .

fireworks1More fireworks . . .

walkwayWalkway to paradise . . .

About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
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12 Responses to Right Now, Someone Somewhere

  1. Susan beck says:

    Karen…. This is exactly what I needed to read after the past few weeks and few days… Thank you…. It’s very humbling….So many people should read this…..Susan

    • Thank you, Susan. I’m sorry that you needed this “after the past few weeks and few days,” and I hope that whatever issues have been distressing you have been washed away in the rain and replaced with glorious sunshine. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. RayEtta says:

    Very nice pictures, and something to think about too! We sure are wasteful with time.

    • Thank you, RayEtta. I know I waste entirely too much time–and I don’t mean that time spent relaxing or re-energizing or chasing rainbows, waterfalls and butterflifes but simply the time I spend doing absolutely NOTHING. I really need to work on that.

  3. Norman Eubank says:

    “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.” I think it every day I see you.

  4. Mary Fritz says:

    You are so right!!!! On these lazy rainy days it is so easy to fall into really just doing nothing and then I can kick myself for wasting precious time. Thank you!

    • You’re welcome–and thank you. The storm clouds are gathering, the thunder is rumbling, and soon it will be raining AGAIN (how many days in a row now?)–and even though this could be the perfect opportunity to clean out some long-neglected closets or corral some dust bunnies, all I really want to do right now is take a nap … 🙂

  5. bronxboy55 says:

    You, my friend, have the humor and wisdom of The Andy Griffith Show — one of my very favorites, by the way. I especially like how you mix in light observations with heavier ones. You get us thinking, but then you let up and make us smile. Wonderful post, as always.

    • Thank you, Charles–that may be one of the grandest compliments I’ve ever received. No matter how busy my day (okay, my days are never that busy), I can always make time for the good folks of Mayberry. The simplicity makes me smile. And I’m glad that you understood and appreciated the “mix,” which, of course, was intentional.

      On an unrelated note, I’ve been working diligently this summer to put that “blog book” together, and I’m hoping to have it ready to submit by the end of the month. I had no idea how much time it would take to re-read, organize and edit all those posts into something presentable!

  6. “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”
    – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

    Hmmm, you know, and this is my personal take, me thinks and believes that, to a large degree, our individual and collective angst/guilt re idle time is indicative of how in the last two decades our society has increasingly morphed with all things tech and in “now/real time”. The internet, cell phones, Skype, and other technological devices utilized worldwide on a daily basis tends to send subliminal, subconscious messages to our brains that emphatically state “Faster! Faster!” If we’re not “on it”, we erroneously believe we are “out of it” – out of the loop. In short, me fears we’re wired (and not just from our morning joe) because countless of we humans ARE perpetually “wired”. Alas, the sad thing is, far, far too many of us acquire guilt if we dare step off the treadmill simply to breathe. So, “POOH” to the notion that we must all walk the walk 24/7. Poppycock!

    Idle time is priceless and not the Devil’s playground as, again, in my opinion, it provides me with ample opportunity with which to refuel, recharge, and delete a plethora of obsolete “cookies” from my cranial hardware. Thus, when I’m “on”, my brain is focused and my creative levels soar. Only down time can provide us with the equilibrium to tackle and savour the surges in energy and creativity. Blah blah BLAH…I think you get the gist.

    In closing, I am reminded of the wise words of one Mr. Bill Watterson: “There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”

    PS: That old Aunt Bea from “The Andy Griffith Show” used to creep me out as a kid…don’t know quite why! LOL!

    Tiger Lil

    • I’ve been deleting an awful lot of “cookies” lately, in more ways than one. I understand and agree with you–I do think we’ve been “wired” to feel guilty if we’re not always on the move, always accomplishing something. I know I feel guilty when my husband comes home from work and asks what I did all day–and the only thing I can think of is that I read, I wrote, and I THOUGHT. Shouldn’t there have been something more to show for a day gone by? (Besides a relaxed nature, a lowered blood pressure, and a contented smile …)

      Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful and thought-provoking comments, Ms. Tiger Lil! Love the quotes … and I can’t say that I agree with you on Aunt Bea’s “creep factor,” but I’m pretty sure Clara and I would NOT have been friends.

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