Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

Full measures and filler time

Some of my time is spent in a full measure of something. Perhaps a full measure of relaxing or exercise. Or a full measure of learning or solving a problem. A full measure of true emotional connection with another person or of service to someone else. Or prayer, or silliness, or stillness, or focus. 

Then there’s the filler. The time that’s neither here nor there. That’s not really fully spent on anything. The time that has an identity crisis and doesn’t know what it’s for. The time used to avoid boredom or fear.

I don’t think the important point here is to avoid filler time. A more important takeaway is to not impose it on others.

How many times have you waited at work for a meeting to start or at a store for someone to help you? How many times have you had wasted time because your work assignment was unclear or was not contributing to anything important? How many times have you had small talk only because nobody took the risk of asking a real question?  How many times have you received an indecipherable mass email that doesn’t even say anything real?

All that imposes filler time on someone else. And if others impose filler time on me, I probably impose it on others. That’s not cool, and maybe even immoral.