Wasting time

Hi Jesse!

It’s a sunny and cold day in Rockford and look who’s home for a few days!

To celebrate, we went to our favorite arthouse and indulged in creamy coffees and a game of lovely chess.

Jesse learned how to play in high school but I am new to it. I “discovered” it last summer when I watched The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. Like so many, I became completely intrigued by the elegant game. In August, I bought a little chess set, learned how to play and taught my kids along the way.

My oldest kids can take it or leave it, but Fern and Angelo appreciate and respect the game. They even joined the chess team at their middle school. Fern is a shark and usually wins but Angelo seems to be the one who likes it the most. He asked for a magnetic board for Christmas and, in January, asked for another “travel size” game for his birthday. Today, I asked Angelo what he likes about chess.

“It’s fun,” he said. “It’s a good way to waste time.”

Hackles up! Did he just say “waste time” like that’s a good thing? Who would ever want to willingly “waste time?” Surely not a twelve-year-old boy! Surely not my twelve-year-old boy! Correct him and lecture him about language!

Miraculously, for perhaps the first time ever, I ignored my inner monologue! I, Connie, resisted the urge to nag my son. Instead, I decided to think about what “wasting time” means to me.

Turns out, I like wasting time. I am doing it right now! Hi!

I realize most people will argue that “there aren’t enough hours in the day” but I actually feel like there are too many. I know I sound ungrateful, but I have felt this way my whole life. It doesn’t matter if I am super busy or have a fairly relaxed schedule, I do a shit ton of waiting.

Right now I am waiting for 5:59 p.m. because that is when I can eat. I’m currently fasting in solidarity with my Baha’i friends which means I eat one meal once a day at sunset. By the time 6:00 rolls around, believe me: I’m freakin’ hungry.

I’m on day 10 of the 19-day fast. The reason I’m “fasting in solidarity” is because one of my artist-activist heroes Sister Souljah said that it’s a simple way for non-religious people such as myself to show respect for their religious friends.

My Baha’i friends have opened their homes to me (and my family) on numerous occasions and I love them. Fasting is something tangible and spiritual I can do to show respect and love for them. I can say prayers for them.

I’m not sure “fun” is the way to describe my experience thus far, but I am appreciative of the fast. But yes, I get hungry and find ways to “waste time” until sunset. Playing chess and writing in the afternoon are two methods.

I’m so glad I didn’t warn Angelo about the dangers of “wasting time.” How hypocritical that would have been, although it wouldn’t have been the first time.

I think we all should waste more time together whether we’re playing chess or reading or writing or cooking or praying or whatever because even with Daylight Savings Time approaching, there will still be too many hours in the day.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it was a good waste of your time. -Connie

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