My Dad has a saying, ‘time solves everything’. When I am feeling cynical I think that’s because I will probably die before I get to the end of my to-do list and then I won’t have the to-do list anymore. When I am feeling more optimistic, I get it. The thing that is causing you to worry today will probably worry you less in six months’ time. The exception to this is DIY. Putting off a small leak will not be less of a worry in six months. It will lead you to the event that happened to me earlier today… getting a joiner in to replace the part-rotten bathroom floor.
I often wonder where time goes. My husband and I have full-time jobs that we probably both let go beyond normal working hours. We like our jobs though, so it’s not a big deal. We have a small flat and no children to care for. That seems like not very much to do with our time, yet, we never have enough of it. I would like so much more time – to spend with family and friends, to go to the gym, to do the chores that will get me feeling content about our home, to cook meals from scratch and freeze them in neat little containers so we always have nutritious lunches, to read more books, to go for walks, to sleep for nine hours every night, to take the car to the car wash, to take my curtains down to wash them, to practice guitar, to write a book and so on, and so forth…
So much of this dilemma seems to be about priorities and standards. Something that happens in life, is that priorities and standards change, but mostly, your values become clearer. The things you will absolutely not compromise on. There are things you need to do to survive too. Eating, washing, sleeping etc. Then somewhere in the middle is just…. Stuff. Stuff that you want to do with your time. It’s not as vital as oxygen but if you don’t do it you feel some kind of conflict. Then, there is the nonsense… activities you can absolutely do without… like guilt, envy, fear, shame… the kind of poison no one should be spending their time on.
The tragedy of grief and loss teaches you that time is finite. Like sand dripping through an hour glass, it will run out, but no one knows how much sand they have. So if each grain of sand represents an activity that you do, and once the sand passes through you can’t get it back, why do you let the sand pass quite so mindlessly? Would you meet an old friend for a coffee, rather than dusting the skirting boards?
I frequently worry about what I do with my time. That’s quite ironic for someone my husband would point out is frequently late. I do wonder what I should have to show for 32 years of life on earth. What have I done with all that time? Then I think, I haven’t got time for that. There are books to read and people to see. But I might give defrosting the freezer a miss.