Living life

In the book ‘About A Boy’, Nick Hornby talks about living his life by units. Each task is allocated units of time to make his day more manageable:

“I find the key is to think of a day as units of time, each unit consisting of no more than thirty minutes. Full hours can be a little bit intimidating and most activities take about half an hour. Taking a bath: one unit, watching Countdown: one unit, web-based research: two units, exercising: three units, having my hair carefully disheveled: four units.”

It’s a sensible way of thinking about each day. When my day looks too long, too busy, or even too empty to manage, I focus just on the bit I’m in right now, and work on getting through – or making the most of – the moment I’m in.

The past few weeks have been long and stressful, each one more difficult than the last – stress has a cumulative effect. So I started this week tired, and as it drew on, I was more so. I had a lot to do, a lot to think about, and not a lot of time.

When my life is like this (and thankfully it’s not usually) I remind myself that life is an endurance event. There are difficult bits and easier bits, and the trick is to get my head down and get through the tough bits the best I can. I try to slow down, stay focused on what’s in front of me, and keep my eye on the horizon. Everything ends eventually, the trick is to keep moving forward.

As Winston Churchill once said, “when you’re going through hell, keep going!”