Go on the “Time Excuse” Diet

Dear Reader:

Are you like millions of us who are wondering ….’Is it just me…or does time seem to be going faster and faster?‘ Research tells us, due to continuously evolving technology, people today are experiencing living in the “fastest times our lives have ever moved.

As I arrived back home, after my medical appointment yesterday and running some errands, Hallmark Home & Family hosts, Debbie Matenopoulos and Cameron Mathison  were interviewing the author of Time Cleanse, Steven Griffith. The interview had already started but what first got my attention was…Griffith’s assignment (he had given each host) to share what smart phone device consumes too much personal time from their daily lives.

Debbie said it was definitely social media…and especially at night before she goes to bed. She thinks she is just going to check out a few people on Facebook she knows….but then looks up an hour later…exhausted…and now unable to go to sleep because she is mad at herself for the loss of time. (Science says that iPhones keep us awake because of the light in them…throwing off our sleep cycle…we should not wait until we are ready to go to bed…to look at our iPhones.)

Cameron says it is checking emails…especially work emails. He finds himself getting up earlier and earlier each morning to get this daily agenda item done…(thinking how smart he is to do this before he goes to work) but he is now sleeping less and exhausted by the time he arrives at work.

The number one excuse today in our country (as to why we didn’t get something important accomplished)…is “I ran out of time.” Griffith suggests we all go on the “time excuse” diet…For one week we are not allowed to use any “time excuses” for not getting something done. This forces us to make better decisions and start taking control of our lives/time rather than acting like victims…and making  time out to be the bully. We need to regain the power.

We, also, need to start re-examining our choices of how we use our time and discover what time choices are giving us the best return for the amount of time given.

When one woman did the “time excuse” diet…she discovered that it was her college-age daughter who was slipping through the cracks. So she scheduled a surprise visit and took her to NYC for the weekend for a mother-daughter “reunion.” They both agreed it was the best time they had ever spent together. Now both of them will always have those cherished memories of the trip. She had gotten the very best return of time from her choice of using time wisely for what was most important in her life. Her daughter.

The iPhone hijacks our time…like the Sirens of old…luring us deeper and deeper into another world that has little to do with our own personal sense of fulfillment. We need to learn what is contributing to our overall sense of happiness and what is contaminating it. If it is too much technology…then some serious cut-backs are in order.

By putting this magnet on the back of my iPhone…it reminds me every time I pick it up…to think…is this call or text or email worth the time I will use to perform it?…If it is corresponding with friends and family, loved ones, then probably yes…peeking at total strangers’ and so-so acquaintances’ lives…no!

It was Rutledge who reminded me of this one day when I was with him ….I had taken some pictures of the grandchildren and was doing some editing…while “listening” to what he was telling me…but he knew it wasn’t my full attention. He finally said, “Boo Boo …will you put your phone up so we can talk.” A well- deserved stab in the heart… Ouch!…Editing can wait…the present moment can’t. I can never get that precious conversation back.

So until tomorrow…Let’s all make a list of the ‘time toxins” that are robbing us of living a more purposeful and fulfilling life and then let them go…or at least limit their control over our time…life is short…talking (face to face in the present) with loved ones takes precedence over everything.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Update: Still waiting to hear back from Gin-g…but Brooke came through her surgery like a champ…home by lunch time and already going to the bathroom by herself and staying ahead of the pain with her meds…she did great.

My liver tests came back  “normal” … so no damage has been done to date (while changing oral chemo drugs)…and I got some help with my stomach issues that have plagued me since switching drugs….I am hopeful this will take care of that problem. I want to be able to enjoy spreads like the one Anne made for me. Beautiful salad and deviled eggs! 🙂

Gaining control of technology before it completely controls our lives made me remember Mary Oliver’s beautiful prose about life.






About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Go on the “Time Excuse” Diet

  1. bcparkison says:

    Yea for Brooke!
    Don’t you just love it when our grands correct us instead of the other way around.? It means they are listening and learning.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      So true…and we must remember they will mimic us one day and we sure don’t wants our noses in our smart phones as their memory and that it is okay to do that to others…with people…leaves the phone behind.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beverly Dufford says:

    So grateful your blood work said new pill wasn’t doing other damage to your body. I have been praying about that test specifically. You are correct about how much time technology can steal from your life. Many things are great if we only knew the meaning of moderation. Glad Brooke did so well and will keep Gin-g in my prayers.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Me too with Gin-g…called and left a message at her house…but did’t hear back…so not sure what is going on….will update as soon as I know something…in the meantime…prayers prayers and more prayers.


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