Worth the time?


We're all busy, we're all trying to fit 26 hours of activity into the allotted 24. And in that flurry of fun are lots of things we do -- or at least that I do -- that I really don't think are worth the time it takes to do them.

Making coffee? So worth the time. Making the bed? Not so much. (Luckily bed-making is Jim's job, not mine.)

The ultimate example of something that I consider not worth the time it takes to do it is the Thanksgiving meal. I enjoy cooking. I like making yummy stuff for my family, immediate and extended. But gee whiz! You spend weeks planning and shopping for it, days cooking for it, hours getting it on the table and POOF! It's over in less than one hour, sometimes even quicker than that.

So not worth the time.

Fortunately life is not a total waste of time; we're not forking out minutes without racking up emotional payoff. Indeed, there are a few things in life that, despite the hassle, despite the time investment, prove to be totally worth it.

Tuesdays at 6 p.m. is our standing Skype time with Bubby. I had purchased four picture books to be shipped from Amazon to him and four of the same books shipped to myself so I could read a book to him while Skyping. This past Tuesday was the designated day for Bubby to open the boxes and choose the first for us to share.

But Tuesday evening was crazy busy. Jim had lots to share when he got home from work, then we had even more to discuss after his telephone conversation with his out-of-state brother. Then my boss from the literacy center called with a request that caused a bit of consternation (and guilt) on my part and when I hung up with her, it was after 6 p.m.

Then the phone rang again.

It was Megan. "Umm, it's after 6 p.m. and you're not online? What's up? I'm sitting here explaining to my crying son exactly what it means to be stood up."

"Cuss!" I replied, explaining why I was running behind.

She was just kidding about Bubby crying and about making him think Grandma's a screw-up, of course, and she said we could just do it another time. For a split second I was tempted to take her up on the offer. Skyping does take up some time, which I was short on, and it is a bit of a hassle because I have to unplug my laptop from the big monitor, keyboard and mouse and move to the dining room with it so Jim can participate, as it's too crowded at my desk for the two of us.

But I had said we would Skype, that we would open the books, that we would share a story. And this grandma doesn't go back on what she says she'll do.

So we Skyped. Jim and I watched as Bubby eagerly -- but patiently -- awaited the opening of the Amazon box with the surprise goodies inside. His eyes grew bigger and bigger ... then his face lit up, his smile became a grin and he exclaimed, "Books!" All the while goosebumps covered my arms and my heart grew not just three but ten sizes that day.

I showed Bubby that Grandma has the very same books, holding each up to the webcam. He immediately selected "I Love Trucks" and off we went, sharing a story across the 819 miles between us. I read, he turned pages, Megan and Jim listened. We all laughed about cows and bunnies and trucks.

Bubby loved it. I loved it. Megan and Jim loved it, too.

Was it worth it? You bet your bippy, it was! For that, my friends, is one of the very few things in life that was, is and always will be so worth the time that it takes.

(Disclaimer: Astute regular visitors may think these Skype photos are from a previous session and you are correct! I was too busy reading -- and grinning -- to take photos of the session of which I write.)

Today's question:

What is one thing you think is definitely worth the time it takes?