I possess a paucity of time. It is a function of the life I have chosen and place around me that for everything I do or want to do, there seems to be less time available to achieve anything. It is a function of me: I am at once interested, but not bothered; curious, but too lazy to enquire. My grandfather described himself as a sipper and taster of life. I am the same. Or Toad of the eponymous hall. Pulling down as the proverbial millstone, are all the things that interest me, that get me going, that make me who I am and who I seem to want to be. and yet I devote almost no meaningful time to any of them. I merely lick the veneer of anything, without ever knowing the taste of that underlying wood. In many ways, it’s the simple reality of a time in my life: new parent, professional career, locations of home and work and the gap in between them, the things I want to do.
But, there’s something else. At primary school, my teachers would say that I needed a bomb behind me to get me going. Once I understood something, the ennui set in, and I no longer had any desire to repeat for the sake of it. which is fine when all one has to do is pass exams. They’re all easy enough, requiring (as I found) the minimum of effort, and often less than that. But what do I know? Too little, it seems. I skate over things, preferring the easy option over the deeper, trying alternative. I find no pleasure in hard work, and often not even in the end result. Instead, my happiness seems to come from within and without: my imagination and the green grass over there, through the window.
It is evident that, in having created a life of specifically restricted time, more has to be done with less. For too long, work dominated my life, long days sapping my vigour for real effort. Now, the balance has shifted, but I find myself no less time crunched. One of my inherent fears is not having done enough with the time available. I share this with my late grandfather as I try this, touch on that and succeed at neither. Of course, I know that my expectations are too high and are not matched with the workrate I am prepared to provide in their pursuit. But this does not dampen a need to do things, to do them well.
I crave simplicity, and in so searching feel as if it’s got a whole lot more complicated.