Never did I think for a second I’d write a blog referencing Hugh Grant.
Undeniably Hugh has delivered some seminal moments in film – notwithstanding ‘Mickey Blue eyes’.
Actually, this is my first blog in a while. One reason is because now, unusually, I have time, however the primary reason is because suddenly time is pretty much all we have. Time and, for some, each other.
Time and space, although ironically the space between four walls is all some pour souls have, can be a truly daunting thing. We often crave time to do the things we would either like or want to do – learn to play the guitar, learn sign language, travel, and perhaps paint – however do we crave time because, at THAT time, we probably don’t have enough?
Thanks to the ancient civilisations that defined and preserved the divisions of time, modern society still conceives a day as being 24 hours; an hour of 60 minutes and a minute of 60 seconds. But now of course some of us have more time that we can handle. A day can seem terribly long.
Structure (a number of events/things to do in sequence) and time go hand in hand. I am a Teacher, 8 years and counting, and the one thing I can say with a degree of certainty is that without structure a class can descend into anarchy with remarkable ease. Students of any age need structure; and let’s face it, we are all students of life.
In the absence of structure and time related events which are often determined by external forces – my school day starts at 8am for example – life starts to get tricky for some, incredibly difficult for others and for far too many almost impossible.
Globally we are facing ridiculously challenging times. Structure and time have become almost obsolete in some respects with the world either ‘on hold’ or waiting for the peak. Life as we know it, has changed irrevocably and will remain thusly for the foreseeable.
I cannot say how others should deal mentally with getting through each day. However, I believe while it’s important to look to the past to find your own strengths, sometimes we can feel too pulled into the future in times of change. When I worrying about what the future will bring I forget to be in the present and observe what’s happening around me. To bring back back to the present, I try to get in tune with my body. Hence running.
I’m trying to stay active. In the garden in the first instance, in the flat if that fails and when possible on the trail or road. Last week I clocked up 23 miles and this week will almost certainly be the same. I’m staying at around 60% effort to maintain my immune system and keep niggles at bay. I vary my runs mixing road and trail and have managed to vary my route as well. Every time I run I feel better and because I am fitting in my run around other activities (and I wasn’t kidding about the sign language and guitar) I have structure – and no I don’t paint but I do sketch. I may not be working in a formal sense but I am at my computer by 8:30, checking emails, responding to student questions and setting work. The day has structure. The day, as much as it can feel ‘normal’. In an uncertain world the clock will after all keep ticking.
Of Hugh’s activities Nick Hornby said:
‘His way of coping with the days was to think of activities as units of time, each unit consisting of about thirty minutes. Whole hours, he found, were more intimidating, and most things one could do in a day took half an hour. Reading the paper, having a bath, tidying the flat, watching Home and Away and Countdown, doing a quick crossword on the toilet, eating breakfast and lunch, going to the local shops… That was nine units of a twenty-unit day (the evenings didn’t count) filled by just the basic necessities. In fact, he had reached a stage where he wondered how his friends could juggle life and a job…….”
Nick knows a thing or two.
Stay safe my friends.