Saturday, February 20, 2010

Time Savers

My last post might make it sound like I'm against saving time. I'm not. But the question remains, what are we saving time for?

Picture some tv celebrity chef with a show that claims to help you prepare fast and easy meals in 30 minutes or maybe less. Sounds good in theory and if such a fast and easy meal actually can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, and still have great nutritional value, I'm fine with it.


But what I have a real problem with is not quick meals (in theory), but rather the implication of a quick meal or a whole show promoting quick meals. Obsessing over how fast a meal can be prepared implies that cooking is a chore or a necessary evil or that it is somehow wasting valuable time - basically, getting in the way of something we'd rather be doing. And so, by learning tricks, tips and shortcuts to a faster meal, we will save time for those other things cooking is getting in the way of.

The question is, what are we trying to save time for? Because as I pointed out in my last post, cooking time can be turned into quality relationship building time. Cooking time can be a chance to unwind or show someone how important they are to us. Cooking can be a way to show love. So why are we trying to find shortcuts and save ourselves from wasting time on relationship building and showing love?

There could be all kinds of good reasons:
  • volunteering
  • caring for others
  • showing love in other ways
  • helping others
  • saving time to help kids with homework
But there are also all kinds of bad reasons:
  • more time devoted to career
  • tv/game time (non-group)
  • pet hobbies
  • computer time
  • drive time
If you don't agree with my lists of good and bad reasons, then ask yourself this - am I saving time to work on my relationships with others, or am I saving time to spend on me? Because rushing to get dinner done in 30 minutes so you can get the kids off to their rooms to work on homework and your partner in front of the tv and the dishes in the dishwasher so you can FINALLY have some YOU time is not really benefiting you, your partner, your kids, your friends or anyone else. 

Ok, well we all need some time for ourselves, but be honest. Are you really saving time for WORKING on you, or for zoning out and vegetating? 

I'm all for saving time for the stuff that matters - relationship building, right? Maybe there should be a show on tv called "30 minute loving" - doesn't sound like such a hot concept, does it?


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