The clocks went back an hour on Sunday morning, and my body clock has not yet adjusted. So with my brain’s usual contrariness I woke up at what would have been 6:30 a.m. on Saturday but was in fact 5:30 a.m. today. Normally of course, the alarm alarms me into half wakefulness (enough to reach for the snooze button) and it needs two more attempts to rouse me to the point where I can crawl out of bed. This morning though, I was wide awake. Waiting.
It occurred to me that I have wasted an awful lot of my time waiting one way or the other. I suspect at least a couple of years of my life were spent sitting in the car outside of various establishments waiting for the kids to come out of drama/violin/gymnastics/St John’s/choir classes or other kids parties. And later, as taxi driver extraordinaire, waiting in the car at a distance from whichever pub or club they’d been to.
Then there’s the level crossing further down our road that we had to cross to get to their primary school. Heaven only knows how many hours I’ve lost sitting waiting for the trains to pass. The other day me and the dog were there for 20 minutes – that’s five trains worth. Twenty precious minutes of my life, gone, just like that.
And while we’re about it, what about waiting at airports, stations, waiting for buses, waiting at the dentist, the doctors. My life ticking away while I’m sat reading out of date copies of ‘Practical Caravan’ or ‘Angling Times’ neither of which I have any interest in whatsoever.
A couple of weeks ago we watched a fantasy type film called ‘In Time’ (see the trailer here) where everyone lived until they were 25 after which they had to buy time, otherwise they were ‘terminated’. Time was currency, and everyone had a clock built in to their arms which they could see running down. Employment was paid in hours. The wealthy could live forever. Poorer people ran everywhere to save their precious minutes.
Of course, it was daft, but I did find it thought provoking (and actually much better than it sounds – worth a watch). It made me think about the hours I waste, and the difference between wasting time, and, well, living.
Am I wasting time when I play games? Is playing Candy Crush Saga on my phone any worse than sitting watching pap TV or reading a bit of entertaining chick-lit? Am I wasting time when I’m writing? Aaagghhh… now there’s a question.
I certainly spend a lot of time writing, or at least messing about on my blog, tweaking it, reading other blogs etc. Hours pass by miraculously quickly and I often think ‘I must stop this and do something useful’. And then go and do a bit of sewing, which if I was making clothes might be termed as useful, but I don’t, I make soppy things out of felt (you can see some here!).
I suppose it brings me back to the question of why we do creative things. Whether it’s wasting time to just enjoy yourself. Lose yourself in creating something original, unique, perhaps even entertaining or useful.
I’ve searched the internet for answers, and not really come up with anything definitive. But I have had a deep think about my motives. My motives for wanting to write, to want more followers, more readers, this urge to foist my thoughts on the unsuspecting public. After all, I don’t think they’re particularly enlightening thoughts, probably not original either for that matter. It doesn’t even earn me any money for goodness sake!
But I have come to a conclusion:
The reason I write all this stuff and nonsense, the reason I post it on my blog for all the world to see (if they care to – come on world!), is to leave a mark. A mark of the real me. Not the me that is a mum or daughter, or wife even, nor the me that colleagues knew, but the nugget of me, that even I don’t know about until I start putting things on paper, the central joy of the absurd, as well as the deep chasms of darkness, that my inner self seems to dwell in sometimes. It is the yin to my outward yang.
Most of my family have found it hard to understand why my short stories tend to bend towards the dark side. Only the other day my mother complained that they never have happy endings. To be honest, I don’t know where they come from either, but that’s just how I write. Some people start out with a plan, a ‘beginning, middle and end’, but I’m one of those folk whose hands practically take on a life of their own when I’m bashing out a story on a keyboard. I don’t know what’s going to happen to the protagonist until there it is, on paper, a sticky end again.
And as far as verses go (no, still can’t bring myself to call them poems) well, they just turn up in my head as a rhymey line or two, and I knock them into some sort of shape from there.
So, basically, as well as leaving my mark, for posterity sake (my words will be around a lot longer than me), it reveals the individual in me, not only do my family, friends and followers get to know me better, I get to know myself too.
Therefore I conclude:
Writing is not a waste of my time. Yay!!