Consuming Time

It’s amazing to me how much time is consumed by paying a couple of bills and running a few errands. The errand part might, of course, have something to do with my not actually running. In fact, today I had to pick my way along slick, snow-packed roads, wearing cumbersome hiking shoes and using a couple of trekking poles.

And that was the easy way. I gave up on the sidewalks shortly after moving here. With a few happy exceptions, the sidewalks around here are cracked and buckled and downright dangerous during the dry seasons, but when they are covered in snow (because only those same few happy exceptions shovel the snow), the sidewalks are truly treacherous.

The slow trudging to get from place to place wasn’t the only thing that consumed time. I talked to the librarian for a while, then at a store I visited I happened to meet up with a person I needed to talk to, and when I was on my way out, I visited with another acquaintance. I had to cut that visit short — she kept moving closer, and I kept moving away. Whatever happened to keeping a six-foot distance?

But now I’m home safe, and though several hours simply disappeared out of my day, there is still plenty of unconsumed time for the important things of life, such as reading and perhaps cooking a meal for a change.

As it turns out, the books I mentioned yesterday that I had to pick up at the library and was hesitant to read, are books I’d already read, so that frees up time, too. I don’t know what glitch in their system sent the books to me twice, but I’m just as glad not to have to read them, though now I wonder if I should try to get the two I haven’t yet read before I completely phase out that author.

The snow is rapidly melting, so when I have to return these books to the library in the next day or so (there’s no point in keeping them for the entire checked-out time), the errand should be finished quickly.

I’m also caught up with bills, so yay! No more time consumers for a while.


Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

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