Making Time

To say that things have been overwhelming these past weeks/months, would be an understatement. And with one or two exceptions, most of the overwhelming has been negative.

I think, like most people, when I encounter such times, I shrink back my activities into a prioritization level and it isn’t about what I want to do as much as what I have to do.

I won’t go into the specifics of what has been happening but suffice to say that when I woke up to another Monday today, I was a tad sorry that I woke up at all. For a moment, I lay there thinking “not again”, as I faced into another week of this shit.

But then something happened … Rocky had been sleeping at my feet most of the night and sensing that I was awake, he came up and started kneading the blanket beside me (making biscuits) and gently purring in my ear.

His presence made me roll out of bed and begin it all again. How could I delay everyone’s breakfast just because of my own mood? So, I got the four house kitties fed, then went downstairs and fed Tetsuo (who is a lovely little feral guy that waits at the bottom of the outside stairs for me each morning).

He was his normal talkative self. I often wonder if he is reporting on all the shit that I missed out on overnight with possums and raccoons. But then again, he might just be complaining that I am late.

Then I opened up the office and fed the five little babies down there before letting them all meander out into the darkness of the early morning.

It was somewhere in that whole process, that I decided to head to the lake for twilight and so I accelerated all my actions at each stage trying to make sure that I could get down to the lake to catch any colors that the sky might offer.

Even though I had gotten out of bed at 5:30, it was still all I could do to get off my driveway at 6:07. I did so without coffee or breakfast of any sort, deciding I could always pick up a coffee on my way back, anyway.

I needed to be at the lake no later than 6:20 and it was exactly that time, as I pulled into the parking space, grabbed my camera and walked briskly to the shoreline.

Truth is that it turned out to be a rather weak twilight. The sky was too clear and the temperature was wrong, so pretty much nothing happened.

I took a few quick pics, hopped in the car and picked up that coffee at McDonalds on my way home. Made it back onto my driveway by 6:52, just 45 minutes after having left it.

Not the most stellar excursion ever but the truth was that I needed it nonetheless. In the midst of all the craziness and the prioritization of needs as opposed to wants, I have mostly lost myself in the mix.

There are a couple of pics from the lake at the end of the blog and I have supplemented them with some pics of four of my office-babies that I took over the weekend. Hope you enjoy!

I did enjoy it. And that is the bottom line in what I was trying to do this morning; find some enjoyment for myself. It didn’t need to be enjoyment on a grandiose scale. I didn’t need to scale new heights and see fireworks. I just needed a small (and very welcome) break.

And that is what gave me the thought for today’s blog. The whole notion of making time for ourselves.

Some people make their whole lives about “time for themselves”. So, if you are one of those selfish bastards, don’t bother reading the rest of this.

A normal person and particularly those with responsibilities will prioritize others before themselves and that is a healthy behavior that adds more value to our life and to those around us.

Our wants should always come last.

Prioritizing our wants ahead of anything else is playing to the selfish trait in our character and so, placing it on the end of our prioritization list is a healthy character-building exercise.

But here is my point … there comes a time when we have to recognize that satisfying an occasional “want” is in itself a “need” and the only thing to do is jump to the bottom of our list and do something self-serving.

When I decided that, this morning, I used the phrase “making time” in my head. I said to myself that I have to become better at making time for myself and for those who are important in my life. When I get overwhelmed, I often feel like it is an all-hands-on-the-pumps moment and unfortunately I only have two hands.

But then as I drove down to the lake, I realized that the phrase “making time” is a fallacy. There is no such thing. We cannot make time. Time is one of the most important elements in our lives that we have absolutely no control over. It will happen without us. Time existed before us. Time will exist after us. And while we live, time will roll along regardless of our thoughts on it.

All we can do is prioritize the time we have. Assigning our efforts to each moment as it passes is the extent of our involvement.

And what I have realized is that during tough times, during times of being overwhelmed or under duress, we tend to allow time itself to run rough-shod over our wishes, our needs, and most definitely our wants.

This has happened throughout history and will no doubt happen throughout the future. A phrase familiar to all of us is how “Nero fiddled, while Rome burned”.

It is said as a ridicule of Nero but what if the truth was that Nero needed to fiddle? Perhaps it had been an unsatisfied want that had been put off forever until finally for his own sanity, he broke out the fiddle and played a tune.

Rome would have burnt anyway. All things have their moment in time and fiddle or no, they will come and go with or without us.

So, occasionally grab your fiddle … if that is what you want.

… just a thought!