Allowing myself time

One of the hardest lessons and one I still have to master, is allowing myself time. Right now time should stretch out in front of me, full of exciting possibilities to spend it as I wish. After all, there are fewer tasks competing, locked down as I am.

You know what? I was about to delete the previous paragraph because it was written by the ‘old’ me. In pursuit of honesty, I have left it there but feel I should explain…

…time may stretch out in front of me but this is a good thing, a great thing, and the phrase is too tarnished by negative connotations… it is spread out in front of me, that is better.

And then, ‘locked down’. Again, this expression is not full of anything positive, attached as it is to Covid, but even before that it was a phrase suggesting suppression. Instead I prefer to think that I am at liberty to spend all my days and nights at home.

So many of these words are martial – to do with oppression, imprisonment. I love words. I play with words and yet I allow myself to use negative, ‘easy fix’ words to express myself. This must stop.

So, the first paragraph should have read… One of the hardest lessons and one I still have to master, is allowing myself time. Right now time is spread before me, full of exciting possibilities to spend it as I wish. After all, there are fewer tasks competing, with this unusual freedom of being at home.

Now I feel much more positive and it is purely because of the words I have chosen. I have opened up a landscape of liberty. Now I want to explore rather than endure.

I want to learn to enjoy painting rather than see it as just a way of passing time…which I was in danger of doing, given that I am, by no means an accomplished artist. And further to that thought…pastime…now I see this as a word I should throw away along with ‘stretching before me’ and ‘locked down’.

My time is too valuable to just be passed.Surely, knowing that there is much more time behind than before me, every moment of it must be alloted greater value. I will not allow myself to spend it or merely pass it…I want to sense it with all senses.

Immediately questions invade. What about the everyday jobs. Must I learn to sense these too? Well – yes. A resounding yes

However, to get back to the spirit of this post, today I am starting along a journey to allow myself toread if I feel like it, for as long as I feel like; to paint without having half my mind searching for justifications. To move a chair into place and sit and ponder the flower beds as I water rather than feel an urgent need to be finished; to try the craft ideas from a magazine just because it caught my eye, in fact to spend as long as I like poring over the magazine.

These things make me happy. They transport me and if I can conquer the sly ‘time waster’, ‘time filler’ type judgements then I will feel free to splash the jewel colours of my paints onto a canvas and who knows, the outcome might even capture, (oh dear another word I must find a good synonym for), some of the delight in the final painting.

An attempt to portray the word motion on canvas (SjB)

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SallyJ

I am a writer and a poet.