Saturday, April 21, 2007
Margins and Spaces
I don’t know how some people do it. Live their lives, I mean. The way I do it is simple – I don’t try and fit things in. The day wouldn’t hold it because I would run out of strength. Almost everything is given a place with space around it, even going to the supermarket (especially that). If I “arrange” more than two things in a day I become nervous. There is enough of the ordinary, unschedulable things to be getting on with in any case. I just looked at a day in the life of Wife of Brian and could barely imagine how such a day could be processed let alone achieved. In her case, she has little choice, having young children, a husband with M.E. and being the sole bread-winner. I have a sister who lives a life where there is no time to have coffee with a friend or even talk on the phone. She has a daughter with special needs, a career that flies her around the world and, close as we once were, we don’t meet any more, other than at funerals, big occasions or times when she has brought her daughter to stay with me. But it isn’t only people who have to deal with extreme or particular circumstances. There seems to be a “busyness” that has gone around like a virus and now almost everyone has to some extent got it in their system. My feeling is that it began to happen in this country some time in the eighties, when the property market was booming, zappy young people were becoming seriously rich and fun was becoming a pretty serious business too. I read in the papers then that work was something that had become too good for the lower orders, but the well-to-do middle classes couldn’t get enough of it. Being too busy and time-poor was a sign that you were in the groove and making it. The glamour wore off a long time ago, we’re stuck with the busyness and many people are sick and tired of it. It seems a strange paradox that you have to be sick and tired in order have the essential spaces that for everyone else are just luxury.