Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Time is Not on Your Side

Mick Jagger is such a liar.

Time has never been on my side, more like a three-pronged thorn in my throat. Several years ago when I complained to my sister how overwhelmed I was, (nurse management job, elderly aunt, babysitting tiny grand kids, my two youngest children still at home) she coolly replied, "Sister, you've been overwhelmed since kindergarten."

Analysis of that statement revealed not an uncaring sibling, but one that knew me well. I had a tendency to pile portions enough for six people on a plate and then complain about its fullness. My plate is still well rounded, but I am no longer dropping portions all over the floor. In other words, time is not the enemy, we are our own worst diversion.

While in school, I often heard fellow students gripe about not having enough time to study, to sleep, to party. In my own family I am witness to the same belief system. Someone wants to remodel their home but they have no time, or they wish they could visit an elderly relative more often, but sadly, no time. No time to clean, or cook. No time to call or write.

Here's the thing. Time is not viable.

It has no brain, no heart, no legs. Therefore, Time cannot walk, as in The Time Got Away From Me, nor can it escape, as in I Lost Track of the Time. It cannot be measured in a cup as in I Ran Out of Time and it certainly cannot be executed as in What Can we Do to Kill Some Time?  One expression, by the way, I have never uttered.

So, all you writers out there who complain you do not have the time to write a story, to read a book, to start your novel, to submit your poetry, to finish an essay. Please, shut up.  

We have, all of us, been awarded the same amount of time as the next guy. Twenty-four hours in each and every day. Unless you are imprisoned or enslaved, how you spend your time every day is your choice. Be aware, this post is as much a reminder to myself as it is to you. Three weeks ago, after my school schedule ended, I made a pact with myself. Minimum of four hours every day will be spent AIS.

That's Ass in Seat for those of you unfamiliar with one of Frank Barones idioms. Unless you are able to balance a laptop on your gut while standing, most writers require a seated position to write longhand or word process.  If you do not make your writing a priority, no one else will. Yes, other things may have to take a back seat but again, it's your choice (can I stress that enough?) to decide which tasks must go.

Personally, I've given up scuba diving, hang gliding, my exotic dancing career and any future therapy appointments. The last thing I need is a psychobabblist asking me how it feels to have my AIS four or more hours a day.

It feels productive and a bit numb.

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