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!
I have to agree. I have a full time day job and no partner. Somehow, I make time. I don't watch much TV either. I have the radio on while I work. Even over a meal I have my computer out. What really amuses me are those who don't write at all because,"I don't have time, but I have this really great idea for a book, will you write it for me?"ReplyDelete
Oh yes - those people! And then offer to split the profits with you...Delete
I so agree. What people mean when they say, 'I don't have time' is 'That's not how I choose to spend my time.' The same goes for exercise, and reading, as listening to the radio. But I'd argue that those with radios, and books - and children who need more care than most - are richer than those to flop in front of the TV and expect a little box to entertain them.ReplyDelete
You're right, Jo. I will cling to that 'richer' idea when feeling frazzled.Delete
As a single parent myself, I agree. The offspring and I watched barely two hours of television a week, and grown up now, she thinks that was a good thing. Cleaning the flat was low on my list, too. Your child is never going to look back and say fondly, "Mum always kept the carpets immaculate."ReplyDelete
(You could save time by not reading Crime and Punishment. It's a dreadfully dreary book. I read it when young and I had flu, which didn't help.)
I agree, I don't watch much TV either, I am writing most evenings now, and busy during the day with my 5 children. I believe that if you really want to write, you will find the time, no matter what. People often don't understand that writing is all about work and discipline. But exercise , well, I don't have the time ... :)ReplyDelete
V true. I'm sure I've said "I don't have time" myself. And what I've usually meant is, "I don't want to do that thing enough so I didn't make time, but I don't want to imply that you have more time than I do or that I disparage your choice of what you do with your time, so I shortened that to 'I don't have time.'" Which actually has the same subliminal effect, so I wasted my time in shortening it! :-(ReplyDelete
You are quite right - it's all about choices. Within reason, as we actually don't have the time to do *all* the things that might be suggested to us.
True, but even then we're choosing. Though there is an element of duty or obligation as well. 'I don't have time to come to your book launch because I have to visit my friend in hospital' is an acceptable (if compelled) choice. 'I won't come to your book launch because I'd rather bathe my dog' is less hearer-friendly.Delete