Friday, October 7, 2011

Duty vs. the Self - Finding Time

Grande Palais Fountain, Paris 2010 - Photo by Green Eye

My favourite time to write is in the morning, when it’s quiet and the birds are just starting to chirp.  I don’t always get to do my writing then, as there are other duties that are demanding my attention. We all have those obligations. Many of the decisions we make about our use of time are based on our sense of duty or necessity.

The Wall-Passer, Montmartre, Paris 2010 - by DGH

Every day, we decide when and which Duty things will be done: going to work, household tasks, visiting elderly relatives, driving the kids, volunteering, etc. Some we do as part of our routine, but because we fixate on getting the duties done, we forget that we need ‘time out’ for the Self. Our sense of cognitive dissonance (discord) becomes agitated when we push our own needs aside. There’s no need to abandon your duties, just make ‘time for yourself’ one of those duties.

Self-time is whatever restores your sense of equilibrium. Writing does it for me, and I find that I get annoyed when my time is hijacked by those ever present duties. When I take the time for an activity I enjoy, it benefits me in several ways. I distance myself from the problems, the worries, and the annoying things; I lose myself in the act of creating something for the pure challenge of it. The problems don’t go away, but I forget about them for a while.

Sacré Coeur, Montmartre, Paris, by DGH 2010

We each have to find that balance in our life, even though the variables are ever-changing. Make the effort to spare a little time for yourself, you’ll be glad you did.


What sparked this post:

In Hope Clark’s post, My Fiction Day (Oct 5, 2011) . . . she talks about when she writes best, and why. Her words started me thinking about my own time to write, and how difficult it was initially to carve out that time.

Her post is an interesting look at one busy writer’s schedule. Check it out at her blog:

A Musical Interlude:

A YouTube video of a song by James Brown, with his advice: ‘. . .you got to live for yourself, yourself and nobody else’. . .)  It may sound a little narcissistic, but the point is, don’t neglect yourself.

I’ll Go Crazy, by James Brown, R & B artist.  (music only)


Do you make time for yourself? How do you manage it?