Benefits in Lent (Week 4) – Time

I do not have the time to live on benefits. In a 168-hour week I have to work a full-time job, study for accountancy exams, keep the flat habitable, cook, train for bandit-defence and write blog posts. £64.30 does not buy me enough time.

Time by ToniVC

I have talked about how my existing possessions and working full-time makes living on benefits easier. However, I have not been able to substitute money for free time. I’m used to regularly eating out, convenience food, home delivery for groceries and a cleaner. None of that is possible without money.

Organising for Victory

Without money or time you have to organise beyond German efficiency levels to make things work. My life is run by my diary, to-do lists, revision plans, meal plans and New Year’s resolutions. However, being 100% efficient is not possible and leads to unhealthy psychological conditions. The need to buy time is one reason that I’m £7 over budget this week. I didn’t need to spend money on dishwasher tablets and a cleaner, but it saved me about 4 hours of time.

Everyone suffers time poverty and I don’t expect any sympathy. I have been questioning how I spend my resources. I can either:

  • wring out every last useful second and use up every single pound to maximise enjoyment and achievement. Economists call this “utility-maximising behaviour”.
  • leave gaps

Gaps such as the one where a pertinent conclusion to a blog post should go.

Piano Reunion

After a year of living in London, my piano has been transported from Liverpool into my flat.

pianoOriginally, I thought that there would not be enough room in the flat. I was right, there is just a foot of room between my bed and the piano. There’s not even enough room for a music stand, I have to tape the sheet music to the wall. There’s also no room for a stool. I have to sit on the speaker, boasted by a copy of Shakespeare’s complete works, so that I can sit at the correct height.

Space isn’t the biggest issue, what I lack most is time. I’ve talked about the London time-vortex before. It is clichéd but I have met many grade 8 musicians who don’t have the time/inclination/space to play anymore. It’s a shame. Were all the hours of practice wasted? Why do it in the first place? Pushy parents? A better personal statement for university entry?

I’m not being critical of the pushy parents because I’m (secretly) jealous. I’d rather be a retired grade 8 pianist than a struggling grade 2 adult learner.

The real answer is to enjoy the learning experience and not to worry about the end result. Or I could concentrate on an instrument that I can already play – the guitar.