Wasting time vs quality time

Lately I’ve read quite a few books but I haven’t found time to review them, partly because I’ve been prioritising other things in my evenings and weekends. (Partly because I have been exhausted from working a lot of hours.) And reflecting on that has got me thinking about the choices I make.

I know that the ways that I spend most of my leisure time – watching TV, hanging out in pubs, doing crosswords, playing computer games, reading books – might be considered time-wasting, particularly the TV. But another way to look at is it that most of that time is spent with Tim and he’s my partner, my family, so surely that’s quality time. Yes, even watching TV together. Perhaps especially that – we laugh together, discuss plot points, get annoyed or scared or sad together.

This weekend we had intended to go to on a couple of day trips but I was tired, so instead we have mostly been playing games, or rather one specific game: Civilization VI. Civ has been part of our relationship since the start, in its various iterations. When I was a student we would lose days on end to playing it but it has been several years since we last did this. We are effectively telling a story together, making decisions that are both life-or-death and completely meaningless. It’s really a lot of fun.

The other thing I did this week was go to the theatre with my Mum, which is in theory a highly respectable cultural thing to do. We saw Miss Saigon, which I had never seen before. The music’s good, the performances were good, it all looked good, but seriously? That is one racist, sexist story and it deeply troubled me. I genuinely questioned whether I should have given money to the tour. But on the other hand I had a nice evening with my Mum.

I think what I’m getting at is that I need to give myself a break over how I choose to spend my time. Time spent with loved ones is always quality time. And right now I want to spend another hour playing Civ with Tim before bed. But I will get back to the book reviews soon.