That elusive mistress called Time

Some of my more regular readers (hello you two) may have noticed that I’ve not posted anything for a while. This is partly due to the recent festive season, partly due to family commitments and partly due to sheer laziness.

DCF 1.0

I’ve kept telling myself ­ that I just do not have the time to write a new post – which in a few instances has actually been true. I ‘ve convinced myself there’s no way I can find the hour-or-so that I need to put aside so I can sit down and write a quick blog post and that I’m just far too busy.

Of course, most of the time this is just not true. After all, I’ve found the time to sit down and watch TV. I have the time to go out for run. Hell, I even have the time for the occasional, insightful and meaningful conversation with my wife about our life, our hopes and our dreams.

Yes it’s true that I am busy. I’m helping build a website for my daughter’s choir; I’m training for a marathon; I have two young children; I even go to work sometimes. But stating that “I don’t have time” (while being true to a certain degree) is really just a big, fat falsification.

So in writing this blog post I’m hoping to shed some light on exactly what has kept me from posting for over a month. It’s not motivation – I enjoy writing new posts. It’s not lack of material – I’ve a bulging folder on my laptop titled Potential blog posts. And it’s not that I feel my blog and it readership is exactly where I’d like to be and requires no more work – yeah right.

So what is it? What’s lacking in my life that prevented me from sitting down to write this post for so many weeks?

The answer (ironically) is time. Which renders what I have just said a load of rubbish, yes?

Well, not completely.

In truth, and when it comes down to the absolute and bare-bones counting of minutes that I possess in my daily life, I have loads of spare time. Far more than many people I know.

Thinking further and deeper on this subject, however, I realise that it’s not time per se that I’m lacking, but more what I perceive to be a lack of time. Or put another way; I’m missing the right kind of time. Not only the kind of time where I  have the temporal space in which to work, but also the kind of time where my life stops pulsating just long enough for me to take a breath. (This is probably starting to sound rather familiar to my writer friends out there)

I guess that we all perceive time in different ways and bend that perception to our will, whereas sometimes, we actually don’t have the time. For example, when I’m strapping the kids into the car on a grey and drizzly Monday morning, knowing that school starts in three seconds and the youngest one wants me to go back into the house, locate her latest toy from under whatever pile of crap it may be hiding just so she can take it in to show her friends, then no, I really and categorically don’t have the time. On the other hand, when I can never get round to calling the dentist to make an appointment because dinner needs to made, wine needs to be opened, the fire needs to be lit and the latest season of True Blood needs to be watched, then yes, I do have the time, but I just choose to utlise it in a certain way whilst claiming “lack of time” in the process.

Likewise, if President Obama called me up saying he needed a witty, yet poignant State of the Union address written in the next twenty four hours and that I was the only person he could turn to achieve such a task in this topsy-turvy world of modern politics then, yes, of course I’d find the time.

It’s all a case of perceived time and prioritisation.

So by that reckoning, does this mean my blog comes way down my list of priorities? Well, yes, I think it must do if I’m being honest with myself. But at the same time, like I mentioned, to embark on such a task, I need to be in the right place before it can be the right time.

In my other life, I work for an airline and I write stuff when I go away. Right now it’s the first point since the middle of December, where I’ve sat down in my hotel room and stopped long enough, without any other distractions to say, “That’s it. Time for a blog post.”

Without that green light from whatever part of the brain prioritises my schedule, I won’t get the creative neurons firing and writing just won’t happen – not any half-decent writing anyway.

I have to say, it’s interesting to address this issue and to see how everthing works; how the ways in which time – or a lack of it – can be bent to our will, prejudicing certain actions in favour of others. For me personally, there’s not really such a thing as not enough time to write a blog post; it’s all about how much time I perceive there to be, which in turn is affected by my mood, my motivation and my frame of mind.


And there we are, you see. Now that my brain secretary has allotted me the right kind of time, I’ve managed to write this rambling post that no one out there will have the time to read. Ironic eh?

You know what else is ironic? I’ve lost my watch.


Thanks for reading.


13 comments on “That elusive mistress called Time

  1. Harliqueen says:

    Great article, very honest. I know how it feel, time and managing it can be a pain!

    • gpeynon says:

      Thanks. I was pretty sure others out there would get what I was talking about. Funnily enough, though, I’d never really looked at things this way before: The joy of expressing oneself in words, eh?

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. I related to this a lot, I’ve had another blog in the past that would go through periods of blog post feast and famine.

    I jump into things with a very ‘train of thought’ approach, constructing journals, posts, etc from the middle out. If I’m not in the right temporal space to put my thoughts down, then it wouldn’t matter how many measurable minutes I had to sit in front of my keyboard, my brain would much rather sit in front of a comic book.

    • gpeynon says:

      Oh, yes. I so get what you’re saying. If I have a ‘feast’ then I generally hold back the posts for future use because I know that inevitable ‘famine’ is on its way. I too jump on that train of thought, rely on it even, and if it’s stuck in the station, then I’m buggered.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I love your blog btw.

  3. My500Words says:

    If I had a written page for every time I’ve said “I don’t have the time”, I’d have a few fully written novels by now. Yes, I am also very busy but often I find myself creating things to do so that I don’t have time to write.

    • gpeynon says:

      I don’t think I actually create distractions, but I can often find something a little more, shall we say… passive, to devote myself to.
      And do you know what? Writing a page every time may be a good idea!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. I’ve gone from posting four times a week to one or two. Yet, I somehow have time to watch Lost reruns. Yes, I’m actually watching the whole show again.

    And those tasks that I really don’t want to do? I’ve had “rollover retirement accounts” on my to-do list for five years. I’m not exaggerating…

    • gpeynon says:

      My target was always just once a week, as I know any more than that would stress me out. Watching Lost all over again is quite an undertaking. How many seasons? Me and the wife are currently trawling through Grey’s Anatomy, I think we’re up to season 5.
      There’s always time for good TV, eh?

      • It’s six seasons and we’re in the middle of #2 right now.

        I watched Grey’s Anatomy for a couple of years and then stopped for some reason. Don’t remember why. Maybe I found a burst of productivity.

      • gpeynon says:

        Six seasons in do-able. Grey’s is nine seasons, and I’m not sure if I can do them all. Maybe I too will have a burst of productivity.

  5. Jorge Argibay says:

    I was going to ask you about your SF novel. Longtime without news about it. I understand now!
    I must tell you also that at 72 I found that there is no hope in the race against time. But keep running! That’s the name of the game

    • gpeynon says:

      The novel is with an editor at the moment (so I guess that’s even less of an excuse not to write a blog post). I have written a short story in the menatime, which set in the same world, but with out any of the characters from Horatio Lee. I’m planning to send that off to online magazines very soon.

      Yes I agree, we can never outrun time, but if we can outrun some of the other competitors in the race, that’ll do.

      It’s nice to see you pop up in my comments box again and I sincerely hope everything goes well next month.

      Our thoughts will be with you.

  6. slushy maker says:

    Good work.I got a doudt.

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