I happen to know someone who tutors at UCC’s Skill Centre, which offers classes on things like time management and essay-writing. He sent me a screenshot one of the slides on a presentation he was giving. “Busy isn’t a sign of success, it’s a lack of prioritising your own life,”
Well, maybe he’s not wrong. You might know that in addition to writing this news section, I’m the chairperson of the Journalism society. You also might know that I work part-time. And run two websites. And write freelance. And sit on two committees. And signed up to do a level 5 course at the beginning of this year, for reasons that are now obscure to me. (I’m also theoretically supposed to be doing a degree, although I’m not sure where anyone finds the time for that sort of thing.)
Of course, in addition to all of that business, I’ve also got friends and aspirations and a partner and suchlike. When I have time.
I imagine this hits home for a few of you reading this editorial, because last week was the midway point of the semester— in other words, five days of deadline and assignment hell for most. Four separate people have contacted me with their apologies to say that they can’t get something done this week, and goodness, can I blame them? I’m not alone in that long list of obligations. I know far too many people who sign up for everything. People who are always learning something new, upskilling, working on a hobby, doing something with a friend, running something, helping out…
Sometimes people are just very passionate, and that’s great. But sometimes they’re not. Sometimes people are just desperate to be productive, and desparate not to be lazy. Desperate not to waste the time they’ve got, afraid to sit by and let life pass them by; that they need to be constantly working, improving, producing. I saw a tweet this week that read, “If you work a crap 9 to 5 job and get home to watch netflix, you deserve to be poor. You should use that time to learn something new and make things, you slovenly, worthless trashbag.” Okay, that last past was absent, but it said something like that.
How miserable would life be? Isn’t it good enough to just exist, sometimes?
I hope after this week, you find a moment to sit down and waste a bit of time. Do nothing. Hang out. Go wild. You need it! Life’s not about working.
Someone once told me, “Nobody lay on the hospital bed at the end of their life and said ‘Christ, I wish I’d worked more.” Now, granted, that was a taxi driver. In West Cork. On a mountain full of sheep on a forty-minute taxi ride. With my dad. (It was a very intense taxi drive. Flor, if you ever read this, I hope you’re well.)
Still holds true, though. Life’s about more than that.
Take care of yourself