When we were in college, there was a bar in town called "Spare Time". We used to frequent it. In fact, Adrian's apartment was just across the alley from the joint, so it wasn't hard to find your way there. There also weren't too many bars in town. I think there were three, if I remember correctly, so the choices were slim.
Regardless, this post has nothing to do with that bar, other than the name, "Spare Time". Just couldn't resist talking about it...
I have a few things that drive me crazy. People who make rude comments about our family size, people who make rude comments to Pastor's, people who make rude comments in general. It's irritating to me. I think there are enough things in this world to worry about and get worked up about... do we really need to compound it all by being rude to each other?
One comment that really gets my goat is when I hear some people ask stay-at-home mom's the question, "What do you do in your spare time?" or "How do you spend your spare time?" I'm pretty sure that this age-old comment also gets the goat of clergy. Or, maybe just of anyone in life in general. And, I'm not talking here about the innocent question. I'm talking about the question that is more biting. More accusatory than inquisitive. Have you ever heard this from someone?
My first response is, of course, to answer sarcastically.
"Oh, do you mean the spare time that I have between precisely 9pm and 7am? Well, I prefer to spend that time resting peacefully. But, on occasion, I am called upon to clean up vomit, help children find the bathroom, let the dog or cat outside, maybe do a load of laundry (if I'm cleaning up vomit), nurse a baby, or change a diaper. What about you? Do you like to do any of those things too?"
Of course, that's not what they want to know. They want to know about all that wonderful, free, relaxing time that you have at home because you are, of course, at home.
I can sum it up in one answer. Nothing.
Because, there isn't such a thing as free time. Laundry, dishes, school work, cleaning, diapers, cooking, disciplining, more laundry, more dishes, more cooking.... That's the day. Add in planning a menu, weeding the garden, going grocery shopping and other errands and you have my life in a nutshell.
Why else do you think I started this blog? For fun? No... simply so that I could sit down for a few minutes a day! Sheesh.....
Really, I don't always work that hard. I screw around as much as anyone and procrastinate about things. Like packing for vacation. Which is why I'm on the computer instead...
Of course, I like to pretend that there are all sorts of things I like to do in all that spare time that I have. Just check my facebook page. I think it reads something like, "Reading, hiking, scrapbooking, listening to the birds sing, watching the leaves change colors, etc..."
Now, I think for clergy it's a bit more complicated. They aren't busy with children and housework, but they still have to deal with people. Whether it be lending a listening ear to someone who happens to pop into their office or someone who is a total stranger off the street. They are counselors to people who are seeking advice, and that's information that they won't ever share with you... they'll just let you keep thinking they don't do anything. They attend to others who are in the hospital, and sometimes there are quite a few at one time. So, it's not unlikely for Pastor's to make several hospital visits in one day. They take care of small things at church and big things at church. They also need time to read and study so that they can continue to teach their parishioners. And, for most of them, they still have their own family to attend to as well. Clergy are busy, but you might just not be able to see it all the time. Just like anyone else in life.
But, what about the people who ask this question? Isn't it fair to ask them what they do in their spare time? Do they ask the working mom the same question? Probably. Because I have a feeling these people think everyone on earth are more lazy than they are.
So, the next time you might be tempted to ask someone, anyone... I don't care who it is...it could even be a homeless person, the question, "So, what do you do in your spare time?" in a real, non-nice-like fashion, be prepared for a real, non-nice-like answer. Because, most people these days are busy. And, although it may seem unimportant to you, it might be really important for them. Try not to be rude. Try to remember that, at times, we are all a bit lazy in our intentions. It's called, "Being a sinful, human being". Trust me, there's no escaping it.
Now, since I've had this little rant of mine, you want to know what I'm going to do next? I'm going to go take a nap and then wake up and eat some chocolate cake. Because I'm at home and I can do that if I want to.
Until next time....