Life continues to zip by at a thousand miles per hour. I am so busy I just can't stop. My world is ruled by to-do lists, lists that never shrink but only get longer despite constant crossing out. Every day on the way to work I think of things I have not done and wonder when I am going to do them. Rarely do I think of the things I have done, which of late would be a wonderously long and satisfying list. Would that I kept the multiple scraps of paper with which to remind myself of the time and effort spent, but no, it is all about what is next.
Today I spent an extremely unprofitable day at work during which I accomplished precisely nothing off my to-do list. In fact the list got longer, as gazing into space during conference calls I thought of other things I could put on it. I believe I may have even started a new post-it note. When I got home, I jumped in the car and drove to Bedford. There I delivered some wine glasses to a new home, and a few miles later picked up a coffee table. Not an ideal swap in terms of volume of stuff in vs volume of stuff out, but apparently we needed a coffee table. It's Danish, and has a lovely sheen to the top that I expect the children to make short work of on their way down to the wood beneath. This is all completely irrelevant as I'll never actually manage to place a coffee on it, as that would require sitting down and stopping doing stuff.
This got me to thinking. What exactly is the point? Why spend money (and time) on a coffee table that I am patently never going to get to appreciate? The same can be said of many of the things I do with the aim of having a nice pleasant place called home to relax in. The getting ready to relax part happens with alarming frequency, whereas the actual relaxation never does. If I sit down I feel guilty that I could be doing something, so I spring up and do it, all the while thinking of other things I need to do. What I really need is to stop and enjoy a short period of relaxation (whilst everything goes to hell in a handcart, obviously), just to appreciate for a microsecond some of the good times.
What I would like to know from the old timers out there (you know who you are!) is when does it stop? When do you run out of things to do? When do children not need ferrying places? When do they stop leaving stuff all over the floor? When does a house stop getting dirty? When do clothes not need washing any morey? When do plants not need watering? When do light-bulbs stop fizzling out? When does dust stop settling? Or rather, when does the dust settle? When can I stop worrying about the next whatever it is and enjoy the present? At what age does one learn this life skill exactly? If I'm not careful I'll fizzle out before the light bulb.
Ah yes, the light bulb. On February 29th of this year, an easy date to remember, I returned home from Arizona. Literally the minute I sat down and turned on a light, the bulb went. This sums up all of the above. Anyway, I got up again, and replaced it with one of those new-fangled long-life ones. The packet said it would go 8 years, this is nothing short of miraculous! What a boon for busy people! I would thus expect to not be changing the bulb in the downstairs toilet again until two leap years from now, on February 29th 2024. I will be 48. You read it here first.
So, answers to my questions on a post-it please. Just don't let me get hold of it.