05 March, 2006

Time Inc.

I spend most days of my life largely wishing it wasn't. Wasn't that particular day, to be precise, and preferring it to be another, either in the past or the future. I'm writing this on the last day of my "gardening leave", but I sorely wish it wasn't. I'd quite like it to be the first day all over again.

Alternatively, I'd quite like it to be this precise time on Friday night, with the week over and done with. Even better would be this date in, say, two months time, when (hopefully) all is settled and work has become mere routine and the foundation, not the totality, of my life.

In other words, any day but today. And any evening but this evening, when it's impossible for me to not feel utterly overwhelmed with anxiety at the fact I don't know what tomorrow will bring.

Of course, always wishing it were some other day means the here and now is always disappearing before I have a chance to appreciate it. So I also wish it were, say, three or four months ago, when I thought I was going to be stuck in my last job forever and hated it vociferously. But if I could go back to that point, knowing I'd be out of that place come February, I could make far more of the business of bowing out than I did. And of course I wouldn't feel quite so hopeless and helpless.

I measure my life by hurdles to be scaled and obstacles to be overcome, not challenges to be exploited or opportunities to be taken. It's always been that way, and I guess it always will. It's what experience has taught me to be the safest course, the one that will bring me least pain and a lower chance of dashed expectation. The problem is, I don't know whether I've actually scaled the hurdle until after the event - by which point I'm focused on the next obstacle ahead, and it's too late to appreciate what, if anything, I've accomplished.

Gloomy Sunday indeed. If only the hours were numberless.


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