All I Want Is…


So I’ve recently had my birthday and the countdown to Christmas appears to have officially begun. Therefore I am now experiencing the onslaught of “What should we get you? What do you need? What do you really want?” and these days my answer is nearly always “dunno”.

Gone are those childhood years of counting down the days till the arrival of the latest adventure boardgame (Key to the Kingdom! Hero Quest! Space Crusade!) or the games console which never came. By the time Christmas or my birthday comes around, beyond a few books and DVDs there’s never really much left on my list. I don’t really need clothes, I have a regular account with eMusic and have a ridiculous backlog of books to read and games to play. I already have tons of “useful” stuff. So in the end people just give up and get me vouchers. Or money. They feel disappointed and I feel disappointed to have made them feel disappointed. But what I can do? When they really push me for answer I tell them “a dragon”. They laugh.

So here’s the thing. When I think about it, there is actually one thing that I really want and really need more of. If it was something people could give me, then I would take every last drop and then a little more. I’d steal and beg for it if I could. I am talking, not about designer drugs, but time. That’s right – time.

It’s the one thing missing from my life these days. Time to write. Time to make progress through the backlogs mentioned above. Time with my wife. Time to get things done and done properly, not just rush jobs. Time to just relax and be. All you people with children and still managing to do more than just tread water – I salute you, I really do.

So what’s to be done? Get up earlier? Go to bed later? I’m kind of already at my waking limits. Make more productive use of dead time – ie commuting. When I drive I listen to audiobooks which also helps those two hours every day seem a little less painful. On the train or bus I read and sometimes write. I used to have a Palm Treo which was great because it had a real keyboard so I would have electronic copies of everything I wrote. I’ve got HTC Legend now which is great but you just can’t write much more than an SMS or a Tweet comfortably with a virtual keyboard (search Twitter for #awe for more on this). So I guess all I can really do is hope Amazon or someone starts stocking vouchers for time and till then just do the best to appreciate the time I do have.

Title image courtesy nicksarebi

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Published in: on November 6, 2010 at 1:40 PM  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My birthday is coming this month, and I want the same thing you do.

    Here’s a belated birthday wish that you feel a sense of expanded time, since it’s all a mental construct anyway, right?

    On a practical note, one thing that’s been working for me is to direct my brain deliberately to a piece of fiction while I’m doing mindless tasks. I often get ideas that make the writing flow more easily when I sit down at the keyboard. Ditto for right before I go to sleep, although I’m not as successful at remembering to do that.

    • Thanks for the birthday wish and the advice. I often do that already albeit unintentionally and have found some of the best plot twists have come whilst doing the dishes or driving!

  2. I feel for you. I have the same Christmas wish. Santa doesn’t seem particularly able to grant that wish, though.

    • I believe it’s not uncommon for people to give Babysitting Vouchers to friends with babies instead of birthday/christmas presents. It’s a shame we can’t convince people to widen this idea to the general populace. Rather than another pair of socks I get someone to do all the ironing for me one week! Instead of me having spend ages thinking of a thoughtful gift for people, I’ll just give them Chore Vouchers (if they read the tiny, tiny small print they’ll find that voucher will expire with 14 days and is only valid between the hours of 2 and 4am on Wednesdays)!


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