NO U

Day 59. 100 pages, 50,022 words.

Here’s something that occasionally bugs me, and I’m wondering if it’s just me (and just when I’m tired, overworked and cranky).

Being told I have too much time on my hands.

I don’t know what it is. Yes, sometimes it’s the person who says it to me. I get annoyed by dismissive responses like this from some people who don’t seem to actually create anything or even have thoughts and opinions worth sharing. Because usually when I hear this response, it’s because I’ve just made or shared something casually creative or silly that I have been inordinately entertained by in the process of dreaming up. My Witty Retort webcomic, or some unholy movie plot mash-up or other, leap immediately to mind … but the same remark has been made regarding my children’s book, for example, and even The Final Fall of Man series itself.

By the exact same token, of course, it’s quite easy to just shrug off and ignore said opinion, because who cares what those fuckers think?

I should disclaim, at this point, that as always I am not referring to the few times my friends have levelled the accusation at me on this blog. Sometimes I do put more effort into things, and find those things more hysterically enjoyable, than even I admit is entirely normal. I like to think that when they say it, it’s an affectionate / exasperated / maybe even slightly admiring commentary. As, fair to say, it might be when ‘most anyone says it.

But here’s the thing: It’s not remotely true.

I have no time on my hands. Anyone who knows me even a little, knows this about me. I start with the same basic 24 hours a day everyone else does, I work full time, I have a wife and two kids and as active a social life as a couch potato can have, I write novels and a daily blog and … yeah, come on. I don’t have too much goddamn time on my hands. I might use my tiny scraps of spare time for silly things – that I won’t deny – but don’t tell me I have too much time. It makes you look like an idiot and it pisses me off.

I wish I had time to sleep eight hours a night, play computer games, watch movies and have hobbies like people who don’t regularly get told they have too much time on their hands. Because it’s not even that the people using this accusation are uncreative muggle troglodytes – quite often they have perfectly creative outlets of their own. They’re just more commonly accepted things that I find impossibly dull but which – and this is important – I never sneer at them about.

But to be honest, this isn’t really about me. I’m big and hairy enough (as folks used to say back in the Good Ole Days) to handle a bit of playful metaphorical noogieeing. Pretty sure my self-confidence is up to the task and I’m not going to whine about my poor hurt feelings.

I do, however, see this accusation tossed around and yeah, sometimes it bugs me. Whether or not it’s even true of the people it gets said to, it bounces back on the accuser and makes them look shitty.

Come up with something less stupid to say.

End public service announcement.

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4 Responses to NO U

  1. Salla says:

    I get this a lot with my knitting. Once it was on a long-haul flight. The person next to me watched me for awhile and said: “It must be nice to have the time to spend on that”.
    I just smiled and said “By the time we land, I’ll have a sock. What will you have?”

    • stchucky says:

      I don’t get that. I mean, sure, a long-haul flight seems like a perfect time to do some sort of hobby ideally suited to sitting for long periods. I would imagine that is nice. I definitely enjoy long flights for the same reason, writing or listening to music or whatever. It sounds to me like they’re making excuses for not doing something like that themselves, and trying to make it a flaw in you instead of them. Screw that.

  2. brknwntr says:

    I have learned that people who say this are simply shite at managing their time, or simply have priorities that are misplaced or that they wish they could do without.

    My wife laments that she has no time for playing video games or reading. Yet she watches plenty of television and manages 8-10 hours of sleep.

    • stchucky says:

      See, exactly. I will occasionally moan about not having time to play video games (but usually it’s only in response to and for the benefit of people asking me why I haven’t played X or Y game), and I certainly wish I had more time to read. But I can leave the house and go out to my office to write. That is somewhat more justifiable than going out there to read in peace and quiet.

      All in all, I’ve made my choice about what I want to do with my time, and I’m fine with it. If I wasn’t, I’d change.

      Probably. Not sure I could stop writing at this point.

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