Talking about waste, how much time do we all let slip through our fingers as we stand in queues at the mercy of bank tellers, postal clerks and so on.  I wasted the whole day today.

All too much of our time these days is spent waiting for our turn in a line.  Over-population means that getting attention usually means at least a ten minute wait.  I think that wasted time is a real environmental concern throughout the world.  Hey! That’s my LIFE that is disappearing while you bank tellers are filing your nails!

Today I passed a couple of boys on a lunch-break and they were dangling a fishing line (a line with a hook and sinker, nothing fancy) off the pier and as they sat and waited for bites they were making lost-wax carvings for small bronze masks.  I was pretty impressed with their work as it is something I have tried and my result was pretty awful.  Theirs was precise and elegant.  I think we can fit a lot in while waiting in queues, on the bus, train, tram but of course, many of these require sharp tools which would be confiscated on planes so don’t try to smuggle your knitting needles or patchwork stuff on.  Though I believe that there’s a nifty patch-working ‘brooch’ that contains a complete kit of scissors and even a tiny tape measure and if you wear it correctly and are subtle about when you whip out that needle, it’s not seen.  It strikes me as so darn unfair that Osama and all his cohorts have attacked the embroiderers and knitters amongst us, possibly the most productive people on the earth!  Most banks and post offices have a ‘phone off’ policy so you can’t do much texting.

So here are a few things to do instead of fuming in the line at the waste of time.  Almost anything goes except bathroom behaviour (nails, makeup etc.)

  1. Knitting. Anything involving yarn will require the wool to be in a ball in a cloth, clean bag with a drawstring.
  2. Crocheting – easy – only one needle!
  3. Embroidery – I have a friend who can do this with her eyes shut.
  4. Make some tiny Christmas ornaments – cross-stitch kits are around at Spotlight even now!
  5. Redo your Christmas card list for next year.
  6. Upgrade your handwritten contacts book.
  7. Transfer all last year’s birthdays onto 2010’s calendar.
  8. Do some isometric exercises.  Bottom clenching and the like are undetectable and actually burn calories.
  9. Take an iPod and play some foreign language verb drills to yourself and hope that this revision will sink in somehow!
  10. Or just listen to some great classical music or preferably baroque which is supposed to raise your I.Q..
  11. Read – take an easy to read book or magazine.
  12. Pay someone to mind your place and dash off to a nearby shop for things you have forgotten to buy!  Be aware how much time before you will be served though.
  13. Trawl the weekly catalogues for bargains and revise your shopping list.
  14. Mend some article of clothing.  Another friend always used to sew on buttons while waiting at the post office.  Careful with your needle and scissors though.
  15. Write up the week’s menus. Again, revise your shopping list once you know what you have planned.
  16. Learn something off by heart.  This could be a poem. Some verb conjugations or the words to a song.  It all helps keep the brain working.
  17. Do the Sudoku or a crossword puzzle.  Brain teaser!  You can use a paper and pen for this or one of those little gadgets.
  18. Plan a party. Write up the guest list, the menu and so on.
  19. Start a family tree.  Download a family tree format and start putting your family members in the right boxes.
  20. Mentally go through your wardrobe and plan a big cull. Clutter is one of this century’s biggest enemies.  We have ENOUGH history & memorabilia to sink the earth!
  21. On the other hand, take a bunch of photos in your purse and label them with names and dates.  This is one of those great jobs you can do a little at a time.
  22. Take your laptop if it’s not too big and work.
  23. Take a little bag of stuff you have always wanted to sort out eg. Buttons, beads and do that.
  24. Take an almanac and train yourself to go on a quiz show.  Learn every piece of trivia you possibly can.  Start with capital cities, then learn state capitals.  Learn world leaders, then start on the flags.  That’s enough to keep you busy for YEARS!
  25. Write letters.  Bring a piece of cardboard or a book that you can use as a desk and write old-fashioned snail mail letters to old friends.
  26. Teach yourself calligraphy with a calligraphy fountain pen (not an inkwell!).
  27. Handtack your patchwork.
  28. Listen to a book on your iPod.
  29. Play patience with a deck of cards.  Or a gadget!
  30. Mentally reorganize your furniture.

What do you do?

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