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Buying time – if only that were possible

Submitted by on Thursday, 5 February 2009 No Comment

Breaking news alert: Due to the economy’s continuing struggles and as a hedge against inflation, the Federal Reserve Board announced today that it will  hold the line on hours in the day at 24.

The board will allow up to 27  in rare circumstances, such as for people who have to fly West. Those travelers will, however, be docked three hours when going back east, so it will all come out even.

Officials expect the 24-hour mark to remain policy for the indefinite future.

I don’t know why that news surprises me, yet every morning as I  shut down the computer at 2 a.m., I’m struck again at the massive pile of to-dos that didn’t get done in the scant 24 hours I’m allotted.

I don’t understand the Fed’s stingy position. If officials truly wanted to jump start the economy, they’d do something about that first. I’d cheerfully purchase more hours if more were available to purchase, but under current policy, buying time comes at an astronomical cost down the road.

Kitchen: Mostly clean, but the washer’s waiting to be unloaded so the morning’s breakfast plates can go in. I can put that off until after lunch, but it will come at a cost of a mounting dish debt.

Household accounting: What’s due is paid, but it’s tax season and where the heck is the pile of “deal with it later” W-2s? Oh. That’s right. I don’t have to deal with them for two and a half months. Continue to ignore it and schedule an all-nighter for mid-April

Do things like that often enough and soon your time debt payment is more astronomical than an interest-only, no-down payment adjustable-rate mortgage.

I’ve tried looking for things I can cut because their return on investment is low. If running the country like a business is the solution to all our problems, maybe running a household like a corporation would work, too. Minus the big bonus payment to Big Guy for completing his homework. Or, to follow the financial sector’s example, minus the big bonus payment to Big Guy even if he failed miserably at doing his homework.

Laundry’s an easy cut. Why do  I have to keep doing it when the guys are just going to get their clothes dirty again, initiating an endless cycle of unproductive tasks.

I couldn’t trim there, though, because I was unable to find a clothing-optional school for Big Guy. Maybe charter-school enthusiasts are right after all. Choices in education will make this country strong again.

Cooking’s another repetitive task I looked at eliminating. Why bother when the kids just want to fuss about what I fix?

I poked around to see if science has advanced enough to genetically engineer the guys with Chia Pet DNA – just water them and move on with life. No dice. I’m  hoping Monsanto has something in the works that officials haven’t made public.

I considered cutting sleep – talk about your classic nonproductive expenditure. Five hours a day doing nothing? How could I justify that in this economy? The country wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in now if more American workers would give up that luxury.

Problem is, that budget’s been cut to the bone since Big Guy came along. Any further decrease would unfairly punish the next generation, which would have to deal with a Mom genuinely too tired to function instead of merely surly from lack of sleep.

So I’m stuck exactly where I am, with the government refusing to loosen the time supply and no hope of a bailout from Congress.


Repeated West Coast flights are looking like a viable option. Maybe if the plane circles O’Hare long enough, the Fed won’t catch on that I’m trying to steal time and I’ll get a chance to catch up.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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