Thursday, January 26, 2012

Time? What's That? Who's Got Any Extra Time? #GBE2

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a writer in possession of a fabulous idea must be in want of the time in which to write.  (Borrowing liberally from Her Awesomeness Jane A.)

Or perhaps, writers are required, by secret non-union contract, to bitch about lack of time.  Compared to when we were in grade school and our lives consisted of playing freeze tag and blowing dandelion fluff and staring out the window.
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you....  

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines...
David GilmourI
And then the lyrics go on to cheerful subjects like being short of breath and closer to death.  I can't help but wonder how much less pleasure David Gilmour takes in singing them these days, now that he's a geezer more mature.  As opposed to when he was in his 20's/30's and could be all deep and philosophical-like about growing old.

Reality is, no writer has any "extra" time. We all have things that take as much time as they take - eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom.  As for the rest of our time - some of us have "normal" day jobs, some don't. (Bitches!  Sorry, a little envy slipped out there.)  I do realize, in the moments I'm not all catty and jealous, that most of those who "don't work" are freelance writing, taking care of kids and/or elderly parents, probably for as many hours a day (or more) than those of us with day jobs.

We make choices for the rest of our time.  I choose to watch very little TV, in order to get maximum writing and reading time.  Which means I feel left out, not seeing all the cool new series people are buzzing about, I have no idea which celebs are married or divorced or preggers, and if on pain of death I had to give a count as to how many Republicans are currently running for President, I would be in big trouble.

Another person may sacrifice sleep, or salon pedicures, or crafting time to make space for writing. Nobody has the Time Fairy sprinkling a little extra love on his/her head at night.

Yet no matter how fast we spin and shave off bits of time here and there, even if we haven't watched TV since the moon landing, if we're slamming coffee to get by on four hours sleep a night, and let our toenails grow out till they're making a clicking sound on the linoleum, there's not still enough to do everything we want to do.

Just like we can't eat all the food in the world at one time, we can't do everything we might like to do, write everything we'd like to write.  Not in an hour, not in a day, not in a lifetime.  All we can do is try to find balance, to fit in a little of everything: the things we must do, like eating and bathroom breaks, the things we "should" do, like nail-clipping, and the things we want to to, like socialize, write, read, and watch TV.

It doesn't have to be perfect.  We don't have to compete with another writer who's more prolific (but never dates) or a hostess who hand-peels grapes or whatever (can you tell my idea of fine hospitality is having two kinds of chips plus a veggie tray?) or kick ourselves because we wanted to get X,Y and Z done today, but we only got X done.

We don't have to compete with anybody, even ourselves. Let's be Zen.  Live in and enjoy the moment we have now, today; use it the way feels best for us.

Maybe that's writing, maybe that's taking a nap, maybe it's watching TV while our car is being serviced.  We can love the moment, or stress ourselves out about it.

I'd rather be happy, and have a balloon, either a real or virtual one.

How about you?  
Are you learning to let go of self-imposed time stresses?
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