Monday, March 4, 2013

Why so busy?

I have to be honest, I don't get why everyone is so busy.

In my book club, it seems like many months, several people don't read the book. And it's not like they didn't like it. They just didn't have time to finish it. Sometimes they never even got around to starting it.

I don't ask them this question, but it's always going through my head: what do you DO with yourself?

If you have small kids, I get it. You have to watch the kids. But a lot of these people have grown kids or no kids. So I'm just wondering what they've been doing with themselves every night for a month that they didn't have time to read one 300-page book?

Have they been watching TV every night? Going out every single night? Really, what?

I honestly never understood this, because whenever there's been a task or project or assignment, I always finished it with plenty of time leftover. Even with small kids, I don't have any problems reading the book club books. I just don't get it. Is it just that I'm the only person who doesn't have any social life?

26 comments:

  1. Check email, reply to email, check news site, read articles, read foolish comments and engage in silly banter with some, check blogs, write comments on Fizzy's blog, pick up book, read one page before getting interrupted by a text message, check email while phone is in hand, repeat...

    It seems like for as many things as technology has accelerated our speed and productivity, it has created dozens more distractions and potential time sinks. The extremely well-disciplined and the apathetic will be the kings of this world.

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  2. I can finish a book every two weeks. It's called the bathroom. There is your tip for the day. You're welcome.

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  3. They are working, perhaps? I am not in the medical field, but work pretty much physician's hours (I just get paid less to do it). I love to read but after accounting for my work hours, then paying bills, running errands, cleaning the house, dealing with extended family "issues," I generally only get to read for 15 to 20 mins an evening, maybe three times a week.

    Yes, even without kids.

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    1. You really have only 15 minutes of free time only 3 days a week??? Even if this is somehow true, I can't believe this is typical. I mean, everyone seems to have time to watch Downton Abbey and that's an hour.

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    2. I work an average of 60 hours a week during the work week. I try to sleep an average of 7 hours a night (medical condition requires it or else I am run down and useless). That leaves about 5 hours a day to get all the rest of my crap done. I do try to eat a few meals a day and also look presentable for work, so that's a couple of hours. Which leaves 3 hours (at best) a day to do everything else, including doing the commute to and from work.

      On weekends, I am usually on call for my clients and any attempt to get shit done gets interrupted by "emergencies" that cannot wait until Monday. So it's hard to even plan the attempt to take a walk around the neighborhood to get some exercise.

      It seems like everyone I know is running around on similar schedules. Things are a lot different now then they were before the economy tanked. Employers have a tendency to abuse their employees (I am salaried, so get the same pay whether I work 40 or 60 hours) because they know we have few choices to go elsewhere. I have been actively looking for a new job for 7 months now. To no avail, unfortunately.

      I work an average of 60 hours a week during the work week. I try to sleep an average of 7 hours a night (medical condition requires it or else I am run down and useless). That leaves about 5 hours a day to get all the rest of my crap done. I do try to eat a few meals a day and also look presentable for work, so that's a couple of hours. Which leaves 3 hours (at best) a day to do everything else, including doing the commute to and from work.

      On weekends, I am usually on call for my clients and any attempt to get shit done gets interrupted by "emergencies" that cannot wait until Monday. So it's hard to even plan the attempt to take a walk around the neighborhood to get some exercise.

      It seems like everyone I know is running around on similar schedules. Things are a lot different now then they were before the economy tanked. Employers have a tendency to abuse their employees (I am salaried, so get the same pay whether I work 40 or 60 hours) because they know we have few choices to go elsewhere. I have been actively looking for a new job for 7 months now. To no avail, unfortunately.

      I will confess that I sometimes choose watching Downton on DVR over reading. Hell, it's the best soap that's come on tv in YEARS.

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    3. ok, see that prior post? that's because I didn't get in my 7 hours of sleep last night. LOL. Sorry about that.

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  4. You work part time, though, right? So those who work full time with other responsibilities might reasonably be expected to have less time?

    My work involves lots of reading, so I tend to be physically tired of reading by the time the work is done; sitting in front of a tv is way easier than reading.

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    1. Part time for a doctor, which is often 36 hours a week. And on days I don't work, I stay with my toddler. So I don't think anyone would argue I have tons of free time.

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  5. Fizzy: I have been somewhat in awe of all you accomplish and I wonder how you do it all. You are a wife, mother, physician, blogger, reader ... in no particular order. As noted by the other anonymous responder, you work part time, but in medicine, it is a full time equivalent. I really do not know how you do it all. Tricia

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    1. no social life and no tv?

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  6. I could probably do it except for Facebook -- that is my ultimate time suck. I work FT and have two small kids. I wake up with them, get myself and them ready for work/daycare, go to work, come home at 5:30 and hang out with them until they go to bed (around 8), then I work out 6 days a week so have that to do, then I usually have to finish up work related stuff for another hour and go to bed. I could do it on the weekends but I am often cleaning, seeing friends, and grocery shopping. I don't feel like I have massive amounts of spare time.

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  7. How you spend your time is directly related to your priorities. Reading the book club book sometimes just isn't (consciously or unconsciously) a priority. I may even read OTHER books and not "have time" to read the bookclub pick. Also motivation. Sometimes I just CAN'T get started on a book. Being "too busy" is a great excuse because no one is going to come to a book club and admit that the book just wasn't their highest priority this month. Of course everyone has some free time, they just might have other ways they chose to spend it and then they realize they have no free time left for the book.

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    1. I think this hits the nail on the head. It's not that anyone is just so busy with their job and errands. People make time for what they want to do.

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    2. then why join a book club in the first place??

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    3. Well I initially joined the book club 6 years ago to read, talk about books, and make friends in a new city. Over the years, the friendships have remained steady, but the reading waxes & wanes (FWIW, its in a waxing stage now, I've read the last few books). Regardless of whether I read much of the book, I still like going and hanging out with my book club...we start off chatting, then talk about the book a bit...then veer off into other conversations based on themes in the book---its a lot of fun and doesn't generally require reading the whole book.

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  8. What ana said. I could read a book if I really wanted. Other things like blogging, making dinner instead of getting carry out, reading the news, and reading for my rotations have been taking priority lately. Oh! And sleeping an extra 20 minutes a day. The trade off is totally worth it to me.

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  9. But why join a bookclub in that case? If you want an incentive to read and see a bookclub as the way to go surely that also requires the commitment to reading the book - if you don't you are letting down the other members aren't you? If it happens once in a while, fair enough but if it becomes a regular thing you have to examine your motives. At least that's how I would feel if I were the one who had read it and the planned evening is going to waste as we can't discuss the book - because isn't that the point of a bookclub?

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  10. What's the point of being in a book club and not read the books?
    I'm with you Fizzy.
    Oh, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one without a social life.

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  11. I joined a book club so that I would HAVE to read something than cozy mysteries which are my favorite genre. However I will admit to not reading two of the 12 books chosen in the past year because the blurbs on the books just were too darn depressing.

    I know you want to have discussions on the books, characters and topics but by the 3rd book on debilitating diseases, family life, and abuse - I just couldn't read another one. Fortunately they changed up topics!

    Highly recommend looking at the topics chosen - there might be an unconscious trend for a certain type of story that they just don't want to read.

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  12. they get lots of sex? after sex i'm always tired and need a long nap.

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  13. So, um, Dr. Fizzy, i know this has nothing to do with this post, but being the obsessive i am, did you ever find your song?

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  14. I think it depends on the book. Even if people are saying that they like the book, they may just not be that invested in it and not be making it a priority. It was a complete chore for me to finally finish 'the alchemist' recently because it was super boring (even though it was a really short book), but i tore through Jonathan Franzen's 'freedom' (which is much thicker), staying up late, losing sleep, etc. As for why join a book club, well, some books really hook you in and some don't.

    ER MD

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  15. Don't forget that doctors are very goal-oriented. Book club?-->Read the book at any cost. We're here to learn about literature.
    Whereas for a lot of civilians, book club=social night away from the kids.
    My club takes two hours to settle in and "check in" and spends an hour on the book, maybe. And a lot of that turns into "My husband & kids do X Y Z," only minimally related to the book. If that really bothered me, I'd find another book club. But I usually like the social stuff too.

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