My grandmother was born when Queen Victoria was on the throne in England and postboxes in Ireland were still painted red. When I was a child, she had one piece of advice that used to drive me crazy. “There there darling,” she would coo. “In a hundred years, it won’t matter.” Gaaaaaaah! Not the thing to say to a 7 year-old, who has been grievously fouled in a life-or-death game of football.
She used to reminisce about a gentler time, when people savoured their leisure and outsourced all the mundane tasks they could afford to. Apparently, it was not unusual in 1930s Ireland for a comfortable middle class family to have a housekeeper, someone who would cook part time, and certainly a gardener/handyman to do all the heavy lifting, again on a part-time basis.
Gran, who was a very astute woman, pointed out that she noticed lots of people in the 1980s were paying people to do those mundane tasks – so they could go out and work more …
Something awry with that model methinks.
I found this wonderful thought on the subject of time from the late US Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist:
“Those who are putting in overtime at the job tell themselves that they don’t have time now, but after they have finally made partner, or finally saved another so many dollars, then at last they will have the time and they will take advantage of it. This is a slippery slope to tread.
Some things in life can only be done during a certain part of one’s life. You can only be a parent to a young child while the child is young. Children grow away soon enough from their parents, and you can’t tell an eighteen-year-old to stay home tonight because Dad finally has the time for him. The time to help out a friend in trouble is now; your help won’t do that friend any good two weeks from now. The most priceless asset that can be accumulated in the course of any life is time well spent. I wish you all much of it.”