Thursday, 20 September 2012

Running Out of Time - the Advice of Marcus Aurelius

There just doesn't seem to be enough time, and what there is, redefines itself with an elastic stretch and contraction according to how much one has to do.

When did I ever find time to see friends, write blog posts, and enjoy relaxation, when I had two jobs?

One of them has come to an end.  You would have thought that I would be feeling great.  (Well, aside from the humiliation, the anger and the loss of income stream, that is).

Thinking that I would have all the time I need to take up a creative hobby, or work towards a goal, instead I find that I am wasting most of it.

I take longer to eat my breakfast, do the washing, read the paper.  I now watch more than one hour of television a week (my previous allocation).  I am doing all the cooking, instead of only half of it.

This is no good.  I must get on with something.  Otherwise, what will I have to show for the extra three days a week now at my disposal?

Searching amongst the Ordinance Survey Maps in the bookcase, I came upon my ancient copy of "The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius".  (Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD) .  The inscription on the flyleaf merely states "1917".  It is nearly one hundred years old.

Did this book accompany anyone into the trenches, I wonder?  This Emperor looked too good to be true, a soldier and  philosopher king - did he have the recipe for peace and the end to all wars?

Sadly not.  He was called upon to attend to war, and died after winning a victory.

However, he has this piece of advice:

"Wander at random no longer.  Alas! you have no time to peruse your diary, to read over Greek and Roman hisory, or so much as your own commonplace book, which you collected to serve you when you were old."  [Note to self - could this be an early version of a blog?]

"Hasten then towards the goal."


  1. I am sorry about the job loss.....and I am also intrigued about the nature of the goal?

  2. Thank you, Libby. The goal is to write something permanent, not just blog posts.