So little time, so much to do.

by | Nov 2, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

Reading Time: 12 minutes

I have decided to write this article ‘on the fly’ without any preparation just to see what comes. If we believe that the prime function of the brain mind is to be a receiver and not a transmitter then in theory I should be able to receive the information I need without any left brain preparation.

Not quite relevant but gives me thoughts in the right direction.

During the hours of 11 pm to 7:00 a.m. I have a habit of sleeping. It is traditional to sleep during the night. This is part of our circadian rhythms. I cannot remember the last time when I had an uninterrupted night. I normally have a bathroom visit at least once per night so I’m not counting that.

During a given year, therefore, we have a total of 5,840 hours waking time to do what we wish to do. Let us take off the time in the preparation and eating of food. Let us say three hours a day for the three meals, that is 1,095 hours so after subtracting that we have 4745 hours in theory.

I’m also assuming that people do not have paid work which of course is foolish of me. If we subtract 10 hours per day, 5 days per week,  for 47 weeks including traveling. We must subtract 2,350 hours which leaves us with a total of 2,395 hours at our disposal and that is for everything else.

Surely, this is more than enough time for dozens of creative tasks or which reading, writing, watching videos and reading books, is a part. Why is it therefore that come 6 pm in the day I ask myself, what have I done? The time has flown by. I seem to have achieved very little.

In my own domestic situation I have a dozen free recorded videos on Sky which I would like to watch (and not trivial matters), I have at least 20 YouTube and rumble videos that I really need to watch for professional interest reasons, I have a mountain of books to finish of which I have read perhaps the first 50 pages, I need to maintain my two major websites, I have to play my part in maintaining our home, plus I need to spend time to go out and about and meet people and do the social thing.

In an ideal situation, I would take myself to a desert island or a place with very few people and take a pile or books which I would go through. But I’m afraid that is the stuff of dreams because if I were to actually go to such a place I would like to wander around, commune with nature and generally unwind. The odd G and T would assist.

The only answer I can think of is to prioritize, depending on perceived need as well as the need to preserve the balance between work and play. I am one of these that needs to be doing something all the time. Although I say I don’t like sitting around, I will pay attention if a TV programme particularly interests me. Until recently, I have been an avid fan of GB news but I’m afraid the format leaves me a little bit frustrated not to mention the ambivalent political stance. No one can get out two words as an interviewee without being interrupted. I know I have spoken of this before, the job of the interviewee is to ask questions and not to superimpose their own view on the whole world including the interviewee.

So my remaining hours consist of what I have to do to maintain my family unit. I must then do the essentials like looking at email for those who may need to have a response. I then do daily disciplines such as checking my bank account which I have learned long ago is the only way to prevent people abusing your bank account and hoping you won’t notice for a bit. I do have a warning system built in to my Santander current account and I have learnt to be on the watch for unrecognized transactions and strange amounts that I did not charge.

I know some thieves relying on taking small amounts from large numbers of people for example £4.99 hoping that they will slip under the radar and of course they often do. I check all my bank accounts every day.

I pause to listen to some organ music with Olivier Latry: Final improvisation of the Sunday Mass – Notre Dame de Paris” 2011, well before the tragic fire.  If this does not lift the spirit then nothing will.

Back to business…..

It occurs to me that it does not really matter what you focus on as long as you are invigorated and stimulated by it. A person who is expert on one subject is more likely to be able to be an expert on another subject because the brain has tuned itself to exploring, analyzing, drawing conclusions, and to act in practical ways about what they have learned.

So in other words, it doesn’t matter what tunes and invigorates the brain so long as it is exercised, living and active, on a daily basis. I read about the great seer Edgar Casey who had such a prodigious talent that he could hold an unknown book up to his head, absorb the information by some mysterious process, and be able to recite it almost word for word. I acknowledge that this is apocryphal but bearing in mind the status of the man and the respect that he was held by other people, I am more inclined to believe it then disbelieve it. I must think of other ways.

I think it helps enormously if you are interested in the subject and are motivated to understand it. An incentive also helps. If for example you are moving to another country and need to learn the language of that country, your brain will give it full attention and your learning rate will be optimum. If we contrast that with an unwilling 13 year old boy in a school classroom of 40 being taught a subject that he is not interested in, that would be the other end of the scale.

I also think it helps if you talk as you learn. In other words if you share the information that you are learning it helps to incorporate it in your mind. This is particularly true in learning other languages though the principle applies to everything. It is the process of telling someone what you have learned that enables the priorities to sort themselves out in your mind.

In my case, learning to concentrate without being distracted is a great help. I have a piece of paper by me and if something comes into my mind concerning something else that needs to be done I write it down and carry on with what I’m thinking. During writing episodes I am very vulnerable to interruptions and someone can come in innocently at the very moment that I have a new idea. Once I have dealt with them, the idea is lost sometimes never to return.

If we have a living search tool within us we will be able more easily to spot items in newspapers or the media or indeed even in the street which will help with our quest, not to mention conversations with our fellow human beings. For example, I might want to write an article about how to deal with strangers. In my going up and down in a street environment I would be making mental notes and ‘vacuuming’ them in to my consciousness to use in the next edition. For this reason I never use a mobile device or listen to music whilst in public. It is too distracting.

I believe that you can instruct the brain to do certain tasks, discipline it over a period, and low and behold it will do what you ask of it. In my case, suppose I ask  my mind brain to produce 1500 interesting and relevant words for me on a daily basis. As you will see from this diary, it does. Only our bodies are separate from each other. We are all connected up in one consciousness so we can borrow (sorry share)  from other people so to speak.

As for reading itself, I have a very bad record of starting a book and reading it to the end. About 1 in 10 of the books I read I can do almost at one sitting because they are so gripping  but mostly it is a bit of a slog. I partly solved this by jumping in at various points and getting an overall picture but I know the chapters are organized into a certain logical consequence and it is not a good idea to be random in one’s selection. This of course is especially true with thrillers and ‘who done it’s’. I have yet to work out an ideal daily habit but I suspect that reading for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening would be a good start. Watch this space.

Some people are prisoners in their own world

Francoise went to buy some shoes locally. Due to the terrible rain, few people were about and after making the purchase she had a chance to talk to him at length about his life as a shoe shop owner. He said that during the summer, the front door was open and people came and went but in the winter,  very few people came in and he was virtually a prisoner in his own shop.

After 35 years in the shop, he wanted to sell the business and later on sell the property. Francoise reminded him that she had had the same conversation with him two years ago but nothing had changed and she urged him to do something in case the next time subject was raised would be in an even worse situation. He seemed depressed.

It turns out that his wife wants to divorce him which means that she will take half his assets. I guess that this is an inhibitory factor in him deciding to take action and if ever I could see a case for counseling, this would be it. Anyway, Francoise is back home with a nice new pair of boots. She said that he reported that people are less willing to spend the greater amounts of money that are being demanded now by the manufacturers of shoes, and that some firms do not any longer make shoes in half sizes. I have no doubt that small firms are suffering, not to mention one person businesses, all over the country indeed all over the world.

Evening Prayer and Bible Study Group

To the Thursday bible study and prayer group which is held in Westfield. My attention was drawn to a book called “Who’s Promised Land?” by Colin Chapman which discusses in depth the history of the Palestine Israel conflict and it was agreed that next week we would discuss it, so I will get the book and read it as well.

We had a jolly time. One of the group had a new job working with people with learning difficulties. He is now working for The Swallow charity which is much nearer than his previous incumbency where he had been at for the last 11 or 12 years so definitely a time for change.

We studied the book of James, or should I say letters from James the Apostle and we focused on chapter one. Towards the end of our session I realized how great must have been the focus of James’ writing presumably copies of the same letter to the 12 tribes scattered among the nations. He doesn’t waste time getting down to business. ‘Consider it pure joy, brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything’…. Bearing in mind the circumstances of his likely readers he again says ‘blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him’

I was reflecting on the contrast between James and presumably some scribes in painstakingly and after much agony writing a perfect message to those that he will have seldom met if at all. Just think of the focus needed. In the current era, if we make a mistake we just delete it or send another email correcting our mistake but in this case once it is written it is written and once it is sent off it cannot be corrected.

If I were writing a letter in four sections I would start it by giving bullet points and if you read the first chapter you will see what they are. Then in the following chapters he goes into more detail and develops his theme. Currently in an age where communication is so easy, it has become more formless. I remember the term ‘ talk is cheap’. This is in contrast to this letter.

I ask of us all “Do we say what we mean and do we mean what we say?’ The point is that people can pretend to be anyone they like, be nasty to someone, and really nobody cares. I am thinking of social media. This epistle from James and indeed in the case of the other disciples is the complete opposite of this. crystal clear, unambiguous, without compromise, fundamentalist you could say but the truth spoken with no let or hindrance.

We also had a discussion about the word anger. This was inspired by Verse 19 “my dear brothers and sisters, of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires”. We discussed the various types of anger, including flashes of temperament, brooding anger which normally lasts a long time. In addition, human anger is one thing, divine anger is quite another

We should use the English language carefully and instead of saying for the sake of laziness he was ‘angry with me’,  we could consider using the words indignant, resentful, bitter, an irritant, hostile, annoyed, and more extremely outraged ( an act or expression showing scorn and usually intended to hurt another’s feelings) or livid (an intense emotional state of displeasure with someone or something).

I don’t have time to go through all the synonyms but if you wish to examine it yourself, you’ll find that each word has a slightly different meaning. The more you understand the English language the more effectively you can use it. People who rely on the F word and use the word ‘like’ in every phrase means they have a paucity of understanding of the subtleties of this wonderful language.

Bring on the English language I say before it disappears

 

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