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Friday, 12 March 2010

Taking time

S**t, nearly a week gone by and I haven’t posted anything on the blog!

I knew this kind of thing was going to happen when I started this – it’s one of the main reasons I hesitated so long about beginning it in the first place; the fear that it would mutate into another chore, an obligation to be regularly fulfilled.

I’m not going to try to fool myself on this, there is a certain obligation involved, both to myself and the thousands (J) of readers out there in cyberspace impatiently waiting for my latest pearls of wisdom. I was aware of this when I started and mentioned it in my first post.

So what’s my excuse? The usual one, the one we all use; I didn’t have the time.

I hate that excuse. Yes, there was quite a lot to do in the past week, including two days laid up dealing with a tummy-bug, but, when I think about it, it was just ordinary life. Work, household chores, appointments to make and keep, etc. All the good things which “had” to be done; family, friends, people to meet, people to keep in touch with. Newspapers and articles and books to be read. The odd TV programme to be watched. That new, trial beta version of the next big thing on the global social network scene (at least that’s the hope of its developers, some of whom I’ve been getting to know a bit – and they may well be right!), which an on-line friend of mine invited me to get involved in, which is interesting and exciting (and, hey, there’s another hour gone before I even noticed!).

So, I just didn’t have the time. Rubbish. I had just the same amount of time as I’ve always had, the same amount of time as everyone has; twenty four hours every day. I could have written this yesterday evening, or the evening before. To be really honest about it, there were just other things I did instead. Because they were, at the time, more important to me. If we’re going to be straight about things, the excuse, “I didn’t have the time,” doesn’t make sense. What we’re really saying is: I didn’t do that (fill in the appropriate activity) because there were other things which ranged higher on my particular personal list of priorities. We don’t say this of course to others because we are afraid that they might find the particular formulation hurtful or insulting. But this is not necessarily, or even usually, the case. We can only live our lives by continually setting and reorganising our priorities, by making choices. Even the things that we “have” to do are the results of deeper, more fundamental choices which we make, or have made – like taking responsibilities for others (and ourselves), working on and cherishing the relationships which are important and vital for us, living out the consequences of various commitments which we have made.

Finally, this evening, this blog reached the level on my scale of personal priorities which got me writing this. And now that I’m nearly finished, I can allow myself the innocent pleasure of looking forward to the good feeling I’ll have when I’ve posted it in a few minutes and can relax for the rest of the evening. I did have the time after all!

(Thirty seven years ago this week, Pink Floyd released one of the greatest albums of all time. Here’s their take on “Time” from “Dark Side of the Moon.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntm1YfehK7U )

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