Time to think. I had some recently. Maybe that wasn’t such a good thing, in retrospect.
I came up with a few thoughts that disturb me. As I sat, actually relaxing for a change, at an SCA event (that’s the Society for Creative Anachronism for you Mundanes) I realized that I spent money to attend a camping event to sit around a campfire and watch rogues and wenches get sloppy drunk. OK, so I enjoy this stuff. It’s what I do in my oh so much spare time. Ha ha, that was a joke. Get it? All the spare time we all have?
Anyway, in the morning, as I watched a guy walk by in his undies, to the actual set up we had of an outdoor hot shower they’d rigged up, I realized SCA folks spend a LOT of good money on these events. I felt guilty. Now, while I am certainly not one of the richest SCA members, possibly I number among the poorest for sure, how do I condone spending ANY of my money on this game? This hobby? For Pete’s sake I have a good friend who doesn’t even have a usable sewer system in her own home in the Real World! She can’t use her own Biffy or take a cold shower and here we are bragging about our hot shower system at a hobby event we do in our spare time!
I felt ashamed.
I spent $100 to purchase linoleum that was on clearance. Believe me, I reallllllly needed it. When I pulled up my living room carpet, oh boy was it disgusting! But cruising through pieces of used wood to try to find anything that would work to create an outhouse for my friend, I mean ANYTHING, THE definition of recycling here, again I felt ashamed for having purchased new flooring.
I’ve been spending my time going back and forth between my friend’s house to help her build things out of recycled things, and my house pulling up floor staples and sanding the subfloor. I am not even supposed to be doing these physical things. If social security disability found out I was doing these physical activities they would take away my disability. BUT these things need done and there’s no one to help.
Yup. I said it out loud. NO ONE to help. It is two physically and medically disabled women doing the jobs of several men, albeit over the span of several weeks/months at times, to get things done. We do ask for help. Do we get it? Obviously not. So we help each other. We do what needs done. We rest when we can and take pain medication. We cry in our pain and cry in our thankfulness for each other. I mean geeze, the woman NEEDS her sewer lines snaked or something done, ANYTHING, so she can use her sinks, shower, and toilet but no one will go out there and help her. WE live in poverty, she and I, but neither our family or others are willing to help us for free. No one wants to donate their time anymore.
Spending time wisely, to me, means helping friends and family any time any place any where for any reason. For free. Not for a favor in return, or an IOU, or out of guilt, but just because it’s what you should do.
There’s some websites about selling items for less than new prices, some freecycle site, bartering sites, and stuff like that. Many folks don’t seem to understand the concept. Just don’t get it. Bartering means trading for something you want with something you already have, but folks on the site are going out to purchase baking items or gift cards to barter for items they want. They don’t get it. People are putting items on these sites that are used yet they want exorbitant priced barters in return, for example a used $20 baby stroller would sell at a yard sale for maybe $4 but on the barter site wanted to barter for their car washed and cleaned and vacuumed on the inside. Ah, that costs from $50 to $100 or more at a detail shop plus uses water that increases your city water bill and uses electricity increasing that bill. I offered my skills, my time, I got no replies. I offered to cook, bake, baby sit, pull weeds. I got nothin’.
Apparently my time is worthless to the vast majority.
Alas, I will just go about my days offering to spend my time wisely to those who deem my time worthy.