Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Wasted Time

28 October 2015


As a kid I always played outside and usually clueless about time (e.g., no iPhone, no watch). Usually someone told us that we had to go home for dinner. Time was irrelevant to us then. Nowadays, I only hear kids complaining that they are bored. Bored despite their iPhone, iPad, game consoles, school, sports and Twitter. Essentially, boredom is just too much time and nothing (much) to do.

When I was studying for my CPA exam and also fulltime working, time management became the daily challenge: completing all necessary tasks within the available daily 24 hours. After mastering time management, a new feeling entered into my life – wasted time.

The feeling of wasted time is somehow similar to the “what, if” question. To me, that question is one of the most dangerous questions in life. It makes you focus on the rear view mirror of your life and prevents you from moving on. However, to some extent the feeling of wasted time is also a wake-up call. It may make you realise that priorities in life need to change.

So what comes after this feeling of wasted time? Essentially, the wake-up call may have 2 different consequences: things get better – or worse. Thanksgiving versus ‘grumpy old men’ (IMDb). The best example of grumpy old men are Waldorf and Statler from the The Muppet Show.

These feelings about time clearly correlate to our age and life expectancy: kids – too much, young adult – time struggle, adult – time management, senior adult – wasted time. Latter feeling may then further culminate in either a negative outlook (e.g., memento mori, whining) or a positive outlook (e.g., carpe diem, thanksgiving) on life in general. Recognising the wake-up call is crucial.

In 1964, the Rolling Stones released their famous song “Time is on my side” (lyrics, YouTube). I sincerely doubt they could have written that song at a later age. Time is never really on your side as of a certain age. For a long period in our lives it’s a feeling of too much to do and so little time.

Marc Bolan (1947-1977), the former lead singer of the band T-Rex, has a very good quote on this: “There is so little time for us all, I need to be able to say what I want quickly and to as many people as possible. Time passes so slowly if you are unaware of it and so quickly if you are aware of it”.

My blog is my way of addressing as many people as possible. I have chosen for this form (1x A4) as it allows me to create many topics. The blog’s length will also accommodate the attention span of most readers. And I neither want to waste my time nor the time of my readers by using (too) many words. “Less is more” remains my ambition – also in writing. 

Some time ago, my brother advised me this topic also given the beautiful Eagles song and lyrics that would accompany that blog. It has been on my list of topics for quite a while as I didn’t really know how to write that blog. Nowadays, I am thankful – and grateful – for each new day. This is however a major mind shift from before. Today I realised its connection with Wasted Time.

You never thought you’d be alone this far down the line. And I know what’s been on your mind.

You’re afraid it’s all been wasted time. Eagles – Hotel California (album) – Wasted Time (song)

Eagles – Wasted Time (1976) – artists, lyrics, Wiki

Eagles – Wasted Time (reprise)


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