Well, it’s been some time since my last post. I’m now reminded of something I’d slightly forgotten – I’m not a natural finisher-completer. I have lots of ideas for things to write, but transforming those ideas into a comprehensible written piece comes less easily. I’m reminded of a comment Lars Ulrich makes in the documentary film Some Kind of Monster, talking about the creative process behind music and art – how do you know when something is ‘finished’? How do you decide when to stop, and say yes, I’m happy with that? I’m not a great detail person either, and maybe that’s not coincidence, as it’s those micro-decisions about wording and structure that tend to nobble me. On the flip side, being not-too-great with firm decisions is maybe not a bad quality for a counsellor.
I’ve been thinking about clutter; not just the material kind, but at present it feels like my life is metaphorically cluttered. Too many activities, too many interests, not enough time. To some extent I suspect this is an endemic feature of modern life, and maybe of being human – being curious about the world, always wanting to do more, fit more in. I don’t feel like I know where my times goes and hence I have decided to do something of a time-motion study for a while, in an attempt to find out. Already, curiously, the act of making a record of how I spend my time is changing how I spend my time; I’m being more focussed and disciplined.
On the subject of time, I will confess I’ve had a little ‘critical parent’ voice intruding recently, telling me I need to “make time” for this-that and the other activity (such as writing blogs!). This makes me chuckle: Pray tell, how does one make time? If I knew the answer to that I’d have loads of leisure time – I’d be millionaire. I know I’m taking that phrase too literally here, but it seems we have some weird sayings about time, and thus, maybe a strange and fluid relationship with time. We make time, fill time, kill time, spend time, save time, lose time. We talk about time as if it were money. We talk about it as if we are at war with it, yet also consider it a great healer.
Another phrase someone told me in recent years is a harsh-but-fair retort to the plea, “I don’t have time”: the retort is, “We all have the same number of hours in a week, how we use those hours is our own responsibility”.
It reminds me of the pebbles-in-a-jar analogy. For those not familiar, this is the idea that your life is like a jar and the pebbles represent the things which are important to you. Sometimes it’s possible to fit in more in than you expect, because if you put the big pebbles in first, small pebbles will fit in the gaps. If you’re interested, there are various videos on YouTube illustrating the idea.
Until next time.