Dear Russell and Friends,
I spent five hours on the phone Saturday with AT&T technical support and three more hours driving to and from my local Apple store to get a new Airport Time Capsule. If you are expecting a luddite post about the frustrations of technology and wasted time, then this is not the place today.
I consider all eight hours to be time well spent and I’ll briefly explain why.
1) My oldest son and I first attempted the installation (intended to boost the strength of our home network and to provide a local backup solution for several computers). He’ll be leaving for college in the fall and any time I can spend with him is time well spent. We worked through the possible solutions together then took turns talking with the three people who helped us on the phone. I got to see how he interacted as a young adult. He had the insight that technical support people often hear the worst from people. I agreed and explained that our Christian witness was much about how we treat people and how we consider the kind of day that they are having — not just ourselves. He spent 2 hours on the phone with me the first call and was invested enough to celebrate the solution. Quality time with children only flows from quantity. Two hours with my son doing anything is time well spent.
2) The drive to and from the local Apple store to get a replacement router provided me with three hours to listen to Sean Carroll’s From Eternity to Here. I’ve been working on this audiobook since finishing the Durant’s Lessons of History (for the third time in 6 months). Driving, listening, and thinking were time well spent.
3) After eight hours the problem was solved in a way it has never been solved before – – all devices connected reliably to the network without conflict. The input is still slow. We live in a relatively rural area on the edge of a DSL node, but the local performance with those input restrictions has never been so good. I felt a sense of satisfaction similar to that of cutting firewood or spending the day raking leaves. There was a tangible benefit to the labor. Work well done is time well spent.
4) At the end of the day there was a date with Mrs. Pascal at a new Italian restaurant recommended by Russell and CC at the détente. We enjoyed each other and enjoyed the meal. She appreciated that her phone now found the wifi network. We were able to reflect on our sons and what we still wanted to teach them. Time with my bride is time well spent.
5) As I reflected on this I recalled a common phrase that I heard in a meeting the day before. The speaker said, “We don’t have enough time.” I recoiled and thought, “That’s just not right. We have the same amount of time as the ancients, the same amount of time as billionaires and beggars.”
How we spend the time and how we appreciate it- – that is what defines us.
photo credit:“MontreGousset001” by Isabelle Grosjean ZA
– Self-published work by ZA. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MontreGousset001.jpg#mediaviewer/File:MontreGousset001.jpg