When Microsoft’s Bill Gates said “with great wealth comes great responsibility,” he wasn’t necessarily aiming his remarks at me.
He was talking about his plan to devote more time and more of his personal fortune to philanthropy.
I know it’s hard to believe but my bank account is nothing compared to his. But I am wealthy in my own way.
I’ve got time.
As a matter of fact, now that the kids are back in school, I’ve got more time to myself than I know what to do with.
I’ve got time to catch up on my reading.
I’ve got time to kick back in my favorite chair and watch “Pawn Stars” rather than “Phineas and Ferb” and “Jessie.” If I wanted, I could even see what all the fuss is about on “Duck Dynasty.” And, I could even get that tattoo I’ve been threatening to have inked on my arm.
The point is, I’ve got plenty of time to do what I want. And best of all, I’ve got plenty of time to take a nap.
I’ve got all this time because I work nights and weekends. After I drop the kids at school and see my wife off to work, it’s just me, our ornery cat Skitty and our spoiled rotten dog Rodney at home.
I sort of feel like Billy Crystal’s “Miracle Max” in “The Princess Bride” after he whips up a giant pill intended to revive the “mostly dead” Westley. When Westley is carried off by Inigo Montoya and the giant Fezzik to rescue the princess from the clutches of the evil prince, Crystal and Carol Kane (his badgering wife in the film) stand at the door of their cottage and send the boys away with a merry “have fun storming the castle!”
Have fun, indeed. I’m going back to bed.
The only problem is once I shut the door and look around, I’m slapped with the unpleasant reality that it’s going to be a while before my head hits the pillow.
The dirty dishes in the sink need to be cleaned and put away, the kitchen floor needs to be mopped, the bathrooms scrubbed, laundry cleaned and folded and a myriad of other chores, big and small, cry out to be taken care of.
Since I’m often home alone, these jobs seem to devolve to me by default. And I haven’t even mentioned the yard work. I can no longer schluff it off on my son because he’s too busy with school work and marching band.
Just as Bill Gates feels it’s his responsibility to put his wealth to work in order to accomplish a greater good, whether you like or not, when you’ve got an overabundance of time on your hands, there are great expectations to put it use rather than loafing.
Because the last thing you want when everyone comes home at the end of the day is to be left scratching your head when your wife asks “So, what have you been doing all day?”