Time gets away from people.
You talk too long to an old friend on the phone. You get caught up reading an extra chapter or eight of the book you're really into. You check the status updates of each and every Facebook friend. You sort through your email inbox and finally clear out those junk messages, including the several hundred promoting male enhancement (which I swear I never signed up to learn anything about).
Regardless of which activity grabs you by the brain and makes you forget the rest of the world around you exists, it happens to all of us. The true value of the time spent in whatever vortex of distraction happened to suck you in lies with how you feel about it afterward.
Sometimes you start something in the middle of the day. You look around when you're done and see night has fallen while you weren't paying attention. That can be depressing, especially during the winter months here in the Midwest. Sometimes the frozen pizza you walked away from in order to catch that news story ends up looking like the lava rock you brought home from your trip to Hawaii years back and you have to keep the windows open for the rest of the night to air out the odor of smoldering cheese. Still other times you wake up from the nap you didn't know you desperately needed to find fifty missed calls on your cell phone from the relative who was expecting a ride home from the airport four hours ago.
But every now and then, time is wasted and it doesn't bother you one bit. Sometimes, wasting time is exactly what you set out to do.
My sons and I spent two solid hours tonight sitting on my bed, each with our own iDevice, playing a new game to which we were suddenly all addicted. We tried to fulfill achievements and level up as often as possible. When one of us couldn't complete a particular task, we rotated devices, handing ours to the person who was particularly good at the task at hand. We laughed and bragged to one another the entire time.
In the end, we all ended up over level ten. I'm proud to say I lead the pack at level fifteen. And this is on a game we all just downloaded today. In the end, I also put them to bed an hour after I should have considering it's a school day tomorrow. But if a father can't waste time over video games with his kids, what can he really look forward to?
I realized I hadn't posted yesterday or today, and while I made a point after tucking them in to sit down and write this, I cannot say it was out of regret over time wasted. On the contrary, I am going to cut this post short right here and go see how many more levels I can raise myself before sunrise. I need to put some distance between my sons and I while they sleep.
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