The Truth About Idle Hands

Don’t know if you’ve heard that old Puritan saying about idle hands.  The Puritans were talking about sin prevention*.  I’m talking about time management.  The way I see it, idle hands are a waste of time and a crashing bore.

I flat out resent the time I’m made to spend in forced idleness sitting in waiting rooms, particularly medically-related waiting rooms.  If they have a working television, it’s never on a channel that is likely to show something you’re interested in watching and you can’t change the channel.  And the kinds of magazines that end up in waiting rooms are the ones nobody wants to steal (or read).  I can’t read a book in a waiting room because I tend to zone out** and would never hear my name being called.  I categorically refuse to succumb to Borg-dom by sitting there frittering with my smart phone.  I take a plastic baggie full of knitting with me, so the time I spend waiting is not totally wasted.

So today I had my “yearly” labs and exam at the VA.  I had to show up at 8 a.m. and get fasting lab work done, which means I couldn’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight yesterday except water, or take any of my medications until after they’d drawn blood.  I’ve got two medications that have to be taken on an empty stomach 30 minutes apart, and wait another 30 minutes after I take the second one before I put anything else in my stomach; then I take the medication that can’t be taken on an empty stomach and eat something with it.  (I swear I spend an hour every morning juggling medications.)   Which is to say,  I had to bring today’s meds, a bottle of water, and something to eat with me to the lab appointment.

I got there right at 8 o’clock so I could sit for nearly 30 minutes in the lab waiting room.  My appointment to see “my health care provider” was at 10 o’clock, which meant spent an hour and 55 minutes in the primary clinic waiting room.  However, as always, I had taken a plastic baggie of knitting with me to knit on in the waiting room.  (We’re talking using half-gallon size zip seal plastic bags as small project bags.)  So, I’m in the primary care clinic waiting room sitting and knitting, and trying to ignore some movie with Kiefer Sutherland in it on the wall-mounted TV, and in walks another (female) patient with a basket that contains her cell phone, keys, and knitting.  I’m working on a toboggan, she’s working on some kind of top.  I told her about the knitting group that I go to at one of the city’s branch libraries, and her eyes lit up.  By the time I had to go in for my appointment, she, I, and two other men who were sitting near us were engaged in a very interesting conversation.

While I was there, I got this year’s flu shot in my left arm, and pneumonia vaccine in my right arm, and I think they’re ganging up on me.  I think I’m just going to call it quits for the day and go to bed.

*Let's just tiptoe quietly around that little minefield and say that the Puritans and I view that whole "sin" thing from diametrical mindsets.  I don't believe in the concept of "the Devil" as a supernatural entity or personification of evil who entices and subverts people into being greedy, cruel, hateful, malicious, etc. (and especially one who is a metaphysical scapegoat for our bad behavior).    Frankly, we don't need outside help to be thoroughly execrable.  We can manage it quite well on our own, thank you.  

** For me, opening a book is like putting on the best virtual reality rig ever.

Author: WOL

My burrow, "La Maison du Hibou Sous Terre" is located on the flatlands of West Texas where I live with my computer, my books, and a lot of yarn waiting to become something.

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