Friday, 12 December 2008

Why I Don't Chase Windmills

There was a moment when I was riding though the dark, my train high above the already busy city streets, when I believed I was dreaming. It was a token of my tiredness; my mind lulled towards sleep by the idling motion of the train and the dormant warmth of my body still in the wrap of my bed. A few of my fellow passengers were typically quixotic, chasing their windmills. Whilst some sensibly slumbered, too many were already wide awake and at work, adjusting spreadsheets, hammering out reports, or reading magazines with titles like ‘Management Monthly’ and ‘The Good Corporate Accounting Yearbook’. Meanwhile, down on the streets, the angry eyes of tail lights glared from the wet tarmac as hundreds of drivers pressed on deeper into the city.

I say I thought I was asleep because I couldn’t really believe that I was there or that this was real. The first hours in the day are our best and I’m idealistic enough to believe that they should be worth more than all the others or they should be ours to do with as we want. They are the hours when it’s best to be ourselves. To be the best of what we can become.

I’m pragmatic enough to recognise that this isn’t the case. I doze on the train because I don’t want to waste these hours on something so mundane. I head into Manchester these two days so I can write and better myself the rest of the week. But for forty eight hours, my family get to see me for the hours at the end when I’m tired, snappy, unable to work and irritated by my limitations. In the office, my mind is alive with ideas, with jokes, with witty one-liners that should really be going into a book or a blog post. None of this is how it should be and I wish I could just sleep away these two days.

Which, in a way, is exactly what I do.

7 comments:

Uncle Deetou said...

Great... kind of cheered me up and depressed me at the same time... thanks.... I think...

Dick Madeley said...

Uncle, when I spend my two days in Manchester, you're lucky if anything I write comes close to cheering you up. I suppose it depends if you spend your days chasing windmills.

James Higham said...

Ah, to be far from the madding crowd.

Nige said...

However bad it gets working in London, I can - and do - always console myself that at least I'm not working in Manchester, or Birmingham, or somewhere even worse. And however tired I am, it's the end of the day I like best - this is probably entirely because it's then that I get to drink...

elberry said...

Me too - my mind really comes alive when i'm at work, and sort of closes down by the time i get home. Luckily i'm pretty much my own boss at the moment, so can blog as and when i please.

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