12 April 2012

A Net for Catching Days

Writers often moan about a lack of hours for writing, due to fulltime jobs, family and a myriad of other responsibilities. I also do my fair share of moaning about this, although I don't think we have a monopoly on 'not enough hours in the day'.

This quote by Annie Dillard resonated on a number of levels.

'How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.'

The word schedule often feels like it could be swapped with straightjacket,  something that constricts us and removes our freedom.  I'm certainly against a schedule that leaves no room for spontaneous activities, but I've also seen how much time I can waste when I don't have a plan for a project. I love the line 'It is a net for catching days.'  What a beautiful thought.   

'A mock-up of reason and order - willed, faked...'  The faked sounds a little like some of my plans, or at least my suggested timings for tasks!  I always seem to under estimate.

'A peace and a haven set into the wreck of time.'  I can certainly agree with that.  Starting a new project can be overwhelming, and I find myself doing other jobs simply because I don't know where to start.  That's when I need a plan.

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