Do you ever get the feeling that you will never have enough time? I don’t mean just in terms of your expected lifespan, I mean to do all the things that you want to do. I am beginning to feel that way. It is a strange sensation. It gives rise to feelings of frustration, stress, exasperation, futility and even, to some degree, melancholia. Now I believe myself to be by nature an optimist. I am also quite positive and reasonably confident, but I must admit that I have had my brushes with depression as well. I expect most people have. I do not think, however, that my recent moods have anything to do with that.
No, I do not. Looking back at this last year I seem to have accomplished an awful lot. I have traveled to Norway, a country new to me, and experienced the joys of a sea cruise. I have been learning to drive, successfully, and even recently bought my first car. I love cars. I have admired them from an early age, so actually getting to own one is quite a wonderful thing. Okay, my car is only a Vauxhall Corsa, not an E-Type Jaguar, but the thing is, it is my car. Soon I will be taking my practical driving test and, hopefully, I will pass and get to indulge another long held ambition, driving on my own.
Also, I recently went to see U2 for the third time and it was a fantastic concert. One experience included with many more. It has been a good year for experiences. Oh, and I also bought a hat. A small thing perhaps but even the small things add to the accumulative total of everything that we get to do.
That said I have also experienced a significant degree of frustration. One area has been at work, but I am not going to write too much about that. I am a wage slave, nothing more, and, again, probably just like many other people are. That fact was reinforced recently by various incidents and decisions at work where it was made blatantly obvious that it is not what you know but who you know. Enough said. Next year I can take early retirement if my financial situation supports such a decision. It does not at the moment but that could change. I hope that it does.
Putting all that aside, another area that has proved frustrating is writing. It is not as if I am struggling for ideas or anything, in fact it is the opposite. I have lots of good ideas all waiting to see the light of day, but I lack the time to do anything about them. I was hoping to have my third novel out this year but that has not happened. The book is in review mode at the moment, I am pouring over the grammar and spelling, trying to get it smoothed out and polished. I am also rewriting and editing a few pieces to raise the tempo a little. It is a lot of work for one person to take on but then that is the fate of the independent author. I am not playing the violin here, I do not want sympathy. I chose to become a writer while holding down a full-time job, I still hope that it will take over as my primary occupation, but I am lacking a very valuable asset, perhaps the most valuable that any of us can own; time!
Currently my working days are twelve hours long, including traveling time. Unfortunately I cannot read when traveling, it makes me feel sick, so even though I have a tablet I cannot use it in the four hours I spend commuting. Stupid travel sickness. By the time I get home, have dinner, wash the pots if it is my turn, I am usually too tired to bother with my laptop. More often I am just left with the weekends but lately, for some reason, even those appear to have been eaten up by other necessary activities. Curiously, I cannot recall what they are. Probably something mundane, grocery shopping, oiling door hinges, things like that. The fact is that each one eats into my precious time.
There is no real solution to this of course, well, not one that I am likely to accept. I like being a married man with a family. I love my wife. I do not believe that all housework is ‘woman’s work’, I live there as well so I do my share of the chores. I also enjoy cooking; I will be doing that this weekend. Nope, I am not considering a life on my own even if that might seem to promise more time for writing.
I am hoping that when I get my full licence the fact that my commuting time will reduce from four hours a day to only one will lead to me recovering some precious time. I will be coming home at a more amenable time of the day and with higher energy levels. I like that thought. Also, I will be able to undertake chores like grocery shopping anytime that they are required, because I will have a car. I will be able to consciously move such shopping from the weekends, which will then be free, to a time immediately after work when I am already on my way home.
In the great scheme of things I am not going to win back a lot of time, I know that. Realistically it would take one of two things to happen, such as winning a substantial prize on the lottery or one of my two books that are already published suddenly turning into a million copy best seller! Well I can dream, which is quite fortunate because it is my dreams that I turn into stories, if only I had enough time to commit all of them to paper!