Why Living Time?

It has been exactly a week that you’ve known me (and me some of you). And the time has come for me to explain the title of this blog: Living Time.

I hate naming things. It’s like buying shoes. You know when you’ve got the right pair the second you slide your foot in one. (foot, rather than feet, because you can’t really slide both your feet in at the same time. Well, you can. But you wouldn’t. Unless you’re weird. Which there’s nothing wrong with. I should get back to my point.) So yes, you know it when you’ve found it. But until you do, you’re left frustrated at the inadequacies of shoes on offer, and – in my case – the less-than-adequate names my brain keeps churning out.

I thought about ‘Here and There’. But then I went on my own Instagram page (private, sorry) and realised I’d already used it there. Then came ‘This and That’, which I thought about for a long time. I liked it because it would create some sort of coherence across my social media platforms, but it didn’t quite click.

Then I started searching for more descriptive names, and came across ‘Passing Time’. And that’s when I had my Eureka moment.

Maybe you’re just passing time on my blog. Actually, that’s most likely the case. Unless you have so much free time that you’re actively choosing to spend it on my blog. In which case, I thank you. Also, do find something else to do. For me, though, blogging isn’t passing time. There’s a massive difference – I think – between doing something passively and choosing to do something while acknowledging that you made a conscious choice to allocate the extremely limited resource of time to it.

And that’s what blogging is to me. I don’t pass time writing my blog. I spend time writing it. Because I love writing. I love the challenge of clearly and succinctly expressing deformed thoughts in my head to people I’ve never met. If you understand what I’m trying to say, that’s my goal satisfied. My life (as a writer) lived.

So, why ‘Living Time’? Because I feel it’s a name appropriate to my obsessed (only so slightly) attitude toward the writing and monitoring of this blog. Also, and perhaps more importantly, isn’t that the attitude we should all have toward our time, our lifetime?

Time – they say – is the only resource we all have. It’s the equaliser of race, gender, wealth, and all other things which really shouldn’t matter. So shouldn’t we all live it, rather than spend or pass it, in wait of something spectacular to come along and change our lives?

Annie Dillard wrote what strikes me as a poignant reflection of life:

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.

For more where this came from, go here.

She’s my idol. Also, I want to live in New York.

So I hope we’re now clear on why I chose to name my blog thus. What about you? Why did you name your blog the way you did? What was your reason/reasoning?

In case you were wondering, mine was: “Yeah ok. This will do.”

One response to “Why Living Time?”

  1. […] end, more from Shapiro on presence as the heart of creative life (incidentally also referred to in Why Living Time? – I knew I was getting onto something. […]

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