Recently, someone said to me that they didn't have time to listen to a 15-minute radio programme.
Isn't that sad? Not 15 minutes in the whole week (it was available on iPlayer) to listen to something interesting. Listening to the radio is not even an exclusive activity - you can do other things at the same time.
I've been noticing since how many people have been saying 'I don't have time to...' whatever. Really? Most of these people don't have children at home; they are married (so we can assume some level of sharing of domestic chores); and they don't have out-of-the-house jobs that occupy regular hours - they're writers, illustrators, freelance editors, etc. So how can they have so little time?
Of course, they don't *really* have so little time - I see them discussing TV programmes on twitter. I don't watch TV. I don't have time. That is, I choose not to watch TV because I would rather spend my time doing other things. People in the UK spend a total of 10,000 years a night watching TV. Think what we could do with all that time! If you just watch two hours a night, it's two working days a week.
Perhaps not working regular out-of-the-house hours is part of the problem. Work expands to fill the time available. Actually, whatever you do, even if it's just faffing about on Facebook, expands to fill the time available. But similarly, you can cram more in and it shrinks to fill the time available. As the single parent of a long-term ill child, earning all the money we live on from the not-very-well paid job of writing, there are a lot of demands on my time. Some things don't get done (cleaning, mostly) - but lots of things do get done. And really, it doesn't take any longer to do the cleaning if the place has got a bit dirtier in between times. It's more satisfying, too, as you can see a difference.
So please, people, this year - choose how to spend your time. Don't get into the position of feeling there is never time to do things you want. Commit to doing more things and time will stretch to let you fit it in. (This doesn't apply to the very few of you who *are* single parents juggling jobs and writing and five dogs and chronic illnesses and domestic disasters. Been there-done that. Except the dogs.)
Anyway, I must go to bed now and read Crime and Punishment as I have to get up early and buy chicken food and build a fence to separate good chickens from bad chickens and bury the bint's dead fish and put the Christmas decorations in the attic and then go to the university library to work on The Story of Philosophy (deadline 22 Feb) and the picture list for MMBR (deadline Tuesday) and then go to a friend's house for dinner. I hope you have a restful day, too!