I belong to a website where people ask each other interesting questions. You know the sort of thing; what are the best rock lyrics ever written, why is mega a better superlative than awesome, what is the best blender for chefs, and How effective is helpareporter.com? It’s a brilliant site that can keep you absorbed for hours.
And there’s the thing; Time. Incidentally, voted as the best lyrics ever written by Pink Floyd on the same site, the point is; how much of it do we “Fritter away in an offhand way?”
I don’t consider spending a while thinking of my top five rock albums ever a waste of my time. I find it one of life’s great pleasures. I’d rather do my top ten though… But of course, this is all a matter of perspective. The plain truth is, we all have the same amount of the stuff, but some of us seem to pack in so much more, and to me, that is completely fascinating.
Of course, we are extremely lucky that the “Very Important People” actually give us a whole new hour at the start of spring, just in case we are farmers, and need the extra daylight. I cannot say I am or have ever been a farmer, nor am I related to one, but I have managed to keep three houseplants alive for more than three months, and those who know me well understand I find this as difficult as spinning plates.
I can’t say that I have dedicated my daily spare hour purely to the maintenance of two peace lilies and a money tree. That would be an over indulgence of three lovely, but entirely unworthy specimens. I mean, they are charming in their own way, but I just can’t get all that excited about them, or get into a conversation with them, even if I do live in the Duchy. I’ll leave that to Prince Charles.
So where do those sixty minutes go? Surely, they can’t just disappear. Sometimes, I just spend them writing, or wading through emails. The point is, I am aware of the extra time, and grateful, just as I am more than a little disappointed when that hour gets taken away from me again later on in the year. I suppose it must be a bit like a small fortune being mistakenly deposited in your bank account, and then unceremoniously whisked away again. OK, you knew it was never yours in the first place, but for a while it felt nice, and you allowed yourself to plan that cheeky cruise around the Med, or a smart new kitchen, or a lifetime’s supply of Jimmy Choos…
The beauty of being self-employed is that you can call your own hours. But the truth is, they are usually much longer than our friends with Proper Jobs. There are entire books and seminars dedicated to help entrepreneurs manage time, and yet, even with all the labour saving devices we now own, and even our own mini-office contained in our smart-phones enabling us to take care of business on the move, we seem to be working even more – or are we?
Perhaps we are just managing our time differently. Ok I’ll just speak for myself then. I would rather work intensively and put in long days and even some nights, in order to take off some special days, guilt free, as long as all commitments are up to date. I love a bit of nocturnal thinking and writing; it’s the only time there are relatively few distractions, unless of course, that noisy badger is about. However, the best time is early rising. Now if you can think like a farmer, and go to bed early in order to wake before the dawn, you will experience nature’s miracle on a daily basis. There really is nothing more life affirming than that.
And if you live in town, you can always go out early, wander through the streets, and spot the dirty Stop Outs… Oh, it may be long ago, but I’ve been there; sunglasses shielding mascara streaked eyes, heels clacking to the churn of the refuse lorry. You haven’t lived until you’ve done your oh-so-slightly less elegant version of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.