Monday, 11 October 2010

How Wrong Can We Be?

I have always had a thing about doing things that I thought were a waste of time. I do not know where this came from, possibly my mother always telling me I could do better. The idea that some things were a waste of time, very often lead to some bizarre behaviour. For example I could never understand why every day people spent so much time smoothing the sheets on the bed and shaking out all the covers and making the bed all neat and tidy, after all I was only going to get back into at night and as soon as I did that all that good work would be wasted.

Then there was the big question about ironing clothes. Why would you waste time ironing clothes that nobody was going to see? So when it came to ironing a shirt, the collars and the cuffs and possibly a bit of the front was all that was needed, so my thinking went.

My mother always had a thing about not only clean underwear but well ironed underwear. When asked about it she would ask me, “What if you have an accident?” Yes, so I am lying in the street blood is flowing from the wound in my head, the paramedic arrives, and my first thought is to tell him I am sorry I did not iron my boxers that morning.

Now I could go on and on with tales of some of the crazy things that I found unimportant that have later proven not to be the case. Sadly the one about making the bed has meant that now no matter how hard I try I never can get it as good as my wife or even my son.

I remember my first day at school. It came to the morning interval and I headed home. I had been there long enough and what I had done had all seemed so much less important than what I could have been doing.

A couple of days ago I was beginning to think that writing this blog was a bit of a waste of time. The time I sat before the computer each morning must surely be time that could be put to better use. Then I have a day of comments like yesterday with Sharon telling me she often notes down what I write and Katherine telling me that my blog helps her everyday. I know she was exaggerating but it was good of her to say it.

Let me go back to that shirt I was talking about, but it could just as easily be a blouse. have you ever ended up buttoning it up the wrong way? You know what I mean you miss the first buttonhole and get the second one and so it goes on down to the last. When you have finished you look a real mess.

For me the top button is making sure that I do the things I can to make others have a better day, if I get that button right it is amazing how all the buttons for that day fall into place. It seems that writing this blog is maybe one of those buttons that I need to make sure I get right.

Today I am getting a visit from friends I met in France about five years ago. A casual conversation on a caravan site that has led to a lasting friendship.

It is right that we should not waste the precious time we have been given but lets make sure we get the top button right.

This is the way of Tao.

Thank you all once again for your continuing comments and support. OH and Sharon I had read that post about the little book you keep I feel so honoured to be included in it.

This blog is linked to my other.  The Jazz Player


  1. What a great analogy comparing the pattern of your day to the buttons on a shirt. Perfect! Thanks for setting my day on a mindful, compassionate course. Hope you have a good day too. :)

  2. Have fun with your French company! You'll love meeting with them again.

    Top button. That's an interesting way of looking at it...

  3. Good Morning Ralph, today will be a great day!
    I appreciate your button analagy because I can't button any of my buttons! The neuropathy prevents me from doing what others do so easily!

  4. Thank you Ralph. I too think I waste my time. I constantly think that. It's disheartening. But, apparently, I'm not alone. So your blog helped me today. Thank you!

  5. I was once a very organized, proficient person...never wasting time. Ah, 'tis lovely to be 'over the hill'; can waste all the time I want sliding down the other side.

    My mother too ironed everything; but goes back to clothing being dried on a clothes line out of doors. She now has a dryer that fluffs everything quite nicely....but still irons! I must get busy and teach her how to 'waste time'.